According to the Insurance Information Institute, whether or not they work outside the home, women contribute to the economic well-being of their family in important ways – from taking care of the household to acting as the primary caregiver for children and aging parents. However, these contributions are too often left unprotected by life insurance.
A national poll revealed that 43% of adult women have no life insurance.* Moreover, among those women who are insured, many are under-insured and carry roughly a quarter of the coverage necessary for their needs. Women make up 57% of the U.S. labor force, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, yet they carry 31% less life insurance than men.
THE GENDER GAP OF PROTECTION
Moreover, while younger women are now as likely as their male counterparts to have coverage, women ages 55 and older are still considerably less likely than men of the same age to own life insurance.1 Women of all ages have smaller average amounts of individual life insurance coverage than men in equivalent age brackets. In addition, women with incomes of $100,000 or more are less likely to have life insurance than men at the same income level.
These figures are compelling supporting a narrative that has become all too familiar – women are stressed. Wearing multiple hats personally and professionally has made staying ahead of long-term goals taxing. According to a recent study on financial and emotional confidence, women were most often categorized as Day-to-Day Decision Makers, a group with the highest level of stress and uncertainty about their fiscal future. Though not every woman surveyed fit this mold, those who did exhibited great trepidation in the areas of work/life balance, feeling safe in the world, and technological advancement. They were also well-below-average in setting up a long-term plan, having protections like life insurance in place for their families, and working with a financial advisor. The findings should not be used to point fingers or place blame; what they lack in education around these topics, the financial industry has fallen short in properly communicating.**
STEPS TO ALLEVIATE DAY-TO-DAY STRESS
As Day-to-Day Decision Makers, women understand how to navigate daily stresses to maintain order and control in the short-term. It’s the future that is more at stake, not only for themselves but their loved ones. Ultimately, knowledge is power. With the appropriate blend of product knowledge, a renewed focus on financial literacy, and an understanding of the retirement road ahead, women and Day-to-Day Decision Makers in general can begin to confidently protect their todays and strengthen their tomorrows.
Brought to you by The Guardian Network © 2017. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®, New York, NY
2019-76046 Exp. 3/2021
Guardian’s Living Confidently survey, 2017
*Source: Wholesale Insurance, March 5, 2015 (Insurance Information Institute).