According to a 2020 study by Life Insurance and Market Research Association, only 47% of women have life insurance, compared to 58% 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 2020 data showed that 70% of US households rely on women’s salary for financial stability1. Overall, 42% of mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners for their families.2

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.

Disability Insurance can provide partial income so you can pay your bills if you get too sick or injured to work. Disability happens to more people, more often than you may think. In fact, more than one in four of today’s 20-year-olds can expect to be out of work for at least a year because of a disabling condition before they reach the normal retirement age.3

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.

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Women live longer

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women live longer than men. Their life expectancy is projected to reach 87.3 years by 2060, compared with 83.9 years for men, yet they typically buy less life insurance coverage and save less for retirement than their male counterparts.4 A permanent life insurance policy like whole life insurance could offer valuable protection for women, with the added benefit of its cash value, which could be used to offset the cost of college education, or used in retirement.5,6

Alternatively, term life insurance offers an affordable solution for protection over a set term of 10, 20 or 30 years, and can even be converted later to whole life, should you desire. You can generate a quote to see what term or coverage fits your budget.

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 help make sure you and  your loved ones are protected.


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1 2021 Insurance Barometer Study, LIMRA

2 Prudential Financial Wellness Census, 2018

3 Social Security Administration, Disability and Death Probability Tables for Insured Workers Born in 1997, Table A.

4 “The Gender Earnings Gap and Retirement” Forbes July, 2018

5 Whole life insurance builds cash value from guarantees and dividends.  Cash value guarantees are subject to the timely payment of all required premiums and the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company.  Dividends are not guaranteed. They are declared annually by Guardian’s Board of Directors. Some whole life polices do not have cash values in the first two years of the policy and don’t pay a dividend until the policy’s third year. Talk to your financial representative and refer to your individual whole life policy illustration for more information.

6 Supplemental retirement income may be done with loans and withdrawals from a whole life policy.  Policy benefits are reduced by any outstanding loan or loan interest and/or withdrawals. Dividends, if any, are affected by policy loans and loan interest. Withdrawals above the cost basis may result in taxable ordinary income. If the policy lapses, or is surrendered, any outstanding loans considered gain in the policy may be subject to ordinary income taxes. If the policy is a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC), loans are treated like withdrawals, but as gain first, subject to ordinary income taxes. If the policy owner is under 59 ½, any taxable withdrawal may also be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty.

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