The pay gap isn’t the only gender gap affecting the financial welfare of women and their families. The life insurance gender gap could cause additional financial hardship for families grieving the loss of a loved one.
According to a recent study by Life Insurance and Market Research Association, only 56% of women have life insurance, compared to 66% of men. And when women are covered by life insurance, the average level of coverage is significantly lower.1 But there’s reason to believe women may need more life insurance than men, not less.
Here are three reasons more women should consider purchasing a life insurance policy:
Women are earning more than ever before
The more your family depends on your income, the more important it is to help protect them with a life insurance policy. Women may still be earning less than their male peers on average, but 2017 data showed that 28% of women in heterosexual relationships are the primary breadwinner of the household, a number that has been steadily climbing.2 And 41% of mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners for their families.3
Even if you aren’t the primary breadwinner, any woman who works should consider protecting her income in the case of death or disability, since the loss of even a supplementary income can cause considerable financial strain for a family.
Women who stay at home provide valuable economic support
When a woman chooses to care for children full-time rather than pursue a career, her labor still has economic value. If a stay-at-home mom were to pass away unexpectedly, how would her spouse pay for childcare or other services that a single working parent might rely on to help keep the household running?
Many women who choose to care for children at home also return to work when their children are older, and since insurance policies are less expensive to purchase when you’re younger, buying a policy now may be the most affordable way to protect your family from the loss of future income.
Women live longer
On average, women life 6-8 years longer than men4, yet they typically buy less life insurance coverage and save less for retirement than their male counterparts.5 A permanent life insurance policy like whole life insurance could offer valuable protection for women, since it covers the insured permanently, rather than for a set term of 10, 20 or 30 years, as with term life insurance. It also builds a cash value that can be used during your lifetime to supplement retirement income if you end up needing more than you planned for.6,7
If you don’t currently have a life insurance policy, or you’re considering buying more coverage, learn more about the types of life insurance you can choose from and how to buy life insurance so you can make sure you and your loved ones are protected.