09 Oct 2020
Kiwi women typically spend their adult lives juggling all sorts of responsibilities. Traditional gender roles are ever changing, with more women contributing to household incomes than ever before and many families choosing to share the responsibilities of raising children.
Now is an important time for kiwi families to consider life insurance to protect their financial assets and their loved ones, so why are women typically less-insured than their male counterparts? In this blog we’ll go over the key reasons women in particular should consider a life insurance policy and some key benefits of doing so.
Why are so many women under-insured?
According to a recent study by worldwide research association LIMRA*, women are around 10% less likely to have life insurance than men. Common reasons why this may be include
Researching insurance can feel daunting and confusing
They are no longer the key income earner in their household
They perceive setting up life insurance as time consuming or complicated
While these reasons are understandable, most women agree that life insurance is important to have for themselves and their families. Although no-one likes to think about what life will look like for their loved one’s when they’re not around, a little bit of thinking and planning now can give you peace of mind that your loved ones are protected no matter what happens.
Keep reading to discover more about why life insurance is worth considering and the seven reasons why life insurance is crucial for women at every stage of life.
Why is life insurance worth considering?
Life insurance offers protection for your family and other people who depend on you financially. That means if there are people in your life who need you, or if you’ve got debts like a mortgage or personal loan, then a life insurance policy could be an important investment. Consider things like the amount of financial burden that your family might need to cover if you were suddenly unable to.
Once you start looking at life insurance policies, you’ll find that there are quite a few options on the market, and a few different things to consider. At Cigna, we offer Term Life Insurance policies, which allows you the flexibility to buy the right level of coverage at the most critical times. Plus, female Cigna customers typically have lower premiums on average than their male counterparts. This comes down to two unique factors: risk and lifespan. With most women living longer than men, and often being considered ’lower risk’ their investment in a life insurance policy is usually more affordable.
Your life insurance policy will be tailored to your situation, and your premiums will depend on an assessment of your risk factors. So, it might be worthwhile having a chat with a Cigna advisor about your situation to understand what a life insurance policy could do for you and your family.
1. You’ll benefit from the peace of mind that life insurance can offer at every life stage?
At Cigna, we regularly talk to customers who are going through periods of change in their lives. Big events like starting a business or buying a house often prompt people to get in touch. We also love speaking with people who are getting married or starting a family too. There are lots of exciting milestones and life stages that Kiwi’s encounter, but should also make us consider if we require insurance and why.
Life insurance for families
Women who are in long-term relationships, who are parents or who have other family members that rely on their income, can have some peace of mind knowing that their family’s financial obligations will be taken care of. Whether you’re a breadwinner, stay at home parent or primary caregiver, your life can - and should - be insured.
Life insurance for individuals
It’s not just for mothers and wives, though. Women without kids might benefit from life insurance too. If you are single, life insurance can help your family pay off debt, help pay a mortgage or bills and cover medical expenses if you were unable to. If you are running your own business either part time or full, a life insurance policy could help any business partners by providing a contingency plan in your absence.
For women who are contributing an income into their household, the Equal Pay Amendment Bill was passed here in Aotearoa in 2020. The bill ensures workers are not paid less because of their gender. That may mean that insurance policies like life insurance become more important for households with female employees.
2. You’ll have some reassurance that your family’s future is protected.
Among Kiwi families there can be a misconception that only the primary breadwinner in a family needs to hold a life insurance policy, as the family unit may rely heavily on their income. No matter how your family finance structure works, it’s important to consider life insurance policies for both working parents and stay- at-home parents (who are arguably doing the toughest job of them all!). You may want to consider what your partner could manage, both in terms of money, time, and childcare if something were to happened to you.
While it’s hard to come up with a dollar figure that a caregiver or stay-at-home parent is worth, putting a life insurance policy in place in case the worst happens could provide some peace of mind when it comes to your family’s future. If a life insurance policy needs to be used, it could cover situations like taking time away from work to establish new family routines and help grieving children. It could also be used to pay for your children’s schooling, childcare and more.
3. Your mortgage could be looked after should anything happen to you.
Your family home should be a source of pride, and you should feel confident that it will stay with the people you love if something were to happen to you.
When you applied for your mortgage, it was likely calculated on your household income at the time. If your income was to change or if something were to happen to you or your partner, those mortgage payments may become hard to manage. In the very worst-case scenario, this could mean your family loses their home. Downsizing or moving may be an option, but if this were to happen due to unfortunate circumstances, that is one additional stress and cost at an already hard time.
If your mortgage couldn’t be paid on a single income, or if you don’t have a backup option in case of accident or injury, a Cigna Adviser can talk to you about Mortgage repayment cover and other options that suit your situation.
4. You could get financial support if diagnosed with illness or injury.
While you make an effort to avoid some apparent dangers in your life, there are some things, like injury or illness, that you sometimes can’t avoid and don’t expect. For many women and their families, it is important to know that loved ones can maintain their current lifestyle even if they end up unable to work due to sickness or injury.
With Assurance Extra, you have the option to add trauma cover or income protection cover to your life insurance policy, so that if you need to spend time recovering from an injury or fighting a severe illness, then you can remain financially independent during your recovery.
5. Your debts don’t have to add extra stress and strain on your family at an already hard time.
The most suitable life insurance policy should be intended to give your loved ones and dependents some financial security in the event of your death. It’s not a nice thing to think about, but by investing in some protection now, they’ll have one less thing to worry about when the day comes.
Depending on your life stage, a life insurance policy or a funeral cover policy may help protect your loved ones from any ’end of life’ costs, including a funeral. Medical bills, any other expenses can just add stress to an already hard time. Your insurance policy may also offer your partner, parents or children the peace of mind of not needing to go back to work straight away if something was to happen to you.
6. Your dependents in the older generation could still be supported and cared for.
While many women consider their partners and children (and fur-babies) to be their main dependents, in some cases elderly parents also rely on their adult children for help and support in their day to day living.
In the unlikely event that you were to pass away before them, your parents can be included as beneficiaries on an Assurance Extra life insurance policy, so that they also receive continued support in the case of your death. This is especially useful in situations where you have been contributing to aged care costs and should let you rest easy that if they needed additional support in their old age, they would be able to access the care they require.
Chat to the Cigna team
Getting the right level of insurance cover allows you to protect what you value most - your lifestyle, family, health and more, no matter what else happens. Learn more about life insurance and chat to an advisor today.
* Life Insurance Ownership in Focus, U.S. Person-Level Trends: 2016, LIMRA