Women have been fighting for equality for a long time, and while we’ve made incredible progress, we still have a lot of work to do. While tackling big problems like workplace harassment and fair wages may require the efforts of many people over many more years, there’s one gender gap that you can help fix right now, with a quick visit to ourlifecovered.com.
That’s right…we’re talking about the life insurance gender gap. Traditionally, the majority of life insurance purchasers have been men, and despite increasing evidence that our society is moving away from the system of defining responsibilities based on gender, that imbalance persists. The truth is, though, life insurance is a tool designed to help prevent poverty, and that’s a priority for just about everyone. The moment you have someone in your life who depends on you, whether it’s for a paycheck or for some other contribution to their general quality of life, it’s a good idea to think about life insurance.
A roof over your love
Women report managing the finances in over half of all U.S. households, and 37% of married women report being the primary breadwinner of their family. While women may have more earning power and make more financial decisions than ever, life insurance coverage is one component of financial fitness where there may still be some room for improvement.
Only 56% of women own life insurance, compared to 62% of men. While a 6% difference may not seem that significant, there are a couple of factors that increase the severity of the problem:
1. The coverage gap grew by 2% between 2010 and 2016 (women dropped one percentage point and men gained one percentage point).
Of course the opportunity to help protect your family’s financial future is never an area in which you want to lose ground, and while some life insurance is certainly better than none, inadequate coverage could leave your loved ones still struggling to make ends meet if something were to happen to you. When you consider the context, that 1% decline and that $45,575 disparity might suddenly seem like an important issue to address.
You wouldn’t build your dream house and leave off the roof…so why would you build a wonderful life for your family without some kind of coverage in place to help protect it?
Actions speaks louder than reactions
As humans, our decisions are influenced not just by knowledge and logic, but also by emotional triggers. If a close friend or relative were to pass away, and you were to witness their family suffering financially due to a lack of funds from sources such as life insurance, would you be more motivated to purchase coverage? For many of us, the answer is probably yes.
However, whether tragedy is right in front of us or not, it’s unfortunately always a possibility. This is the case for men and women, primary earners and stay-at-home parents, at any age and any stage of life. Some of us put off getting life insurance because we’re already juggling a lot of financial obligations, and adding another expense is the last thing we want to do. But those financial obligations are actually one of the most compelling reasons to consider life insurance…after all, if it’s challenging to keep up with them now, what would it be like if you suddenly weren’t there to help?
Don’t say “no” before you know
According to the Insurance Barometer Study by LIMRA & Life Happens, one of the biggest reasons people don’t buy life insurance is because they think it’s too expensive. Based on that, we’d like to point a few things out:
1. Life insurance may be more affordable than you think. When asked to estimate the cost, the average response from Americans who don’t have life insurance was three times the actual amount. It’s possible that the coverage you need to better protect your family could cost less than your daily latte, so don’t assume it’s out of your budget!
2. Women typically pay lower premiums for life insurance. Largely because U.S. women have an average lifespan of about five years longer than men, they often pay less for coverage. Why not use that to your advantage?
3. You can adjust life insurance coverage as your needs and budget change. If you’ve researched the amount of life insurance you may need to help protect your family and don’t think it will fit in your budget, be sure to look at all your options. Term life insurance tends to be much more affordable than whole life insurance. A 10-year term life policy may be a more affordable alternative to a 20-year policy. It’s also a good idea to look at some of your current expenses and see if there’s anything you could fairly easily live without. If you’re not really watching much cable TV, or you rarely have time to read the magazines you subscribe to, consider reallocating those funds to something that could provide improved peace of mind and better financial security for your family.
A new narrative
Even as the life insurance industry works toward a marketing approach that’s more inclusive to women, there seems to be an enduring disconnect. At Our Life Covered℠, we want to do more than simply add a few lines to the existing narrative. We want to change the whole story.
Want to learn more about life insurance and talk more about how to work toward a longer, healthier, more financially secure life? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, or send us a message directly to join the conversation.