In her article The New Breadwinners Heather Boushey shares some startling information and statistics:
Women have made great strides and are now more likely to be economically responsible for themselves and their families than ever before. In fact, for the first time in U.S. history, women are half of all U.S. workers and mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families
In addition to their role as breadwinner, women are still carrying the majority of the load of caring for the home and kids.
This is just one of many reasons why women need life insurance now more than ever.
ING Life Insurance Study
Recently ING U.S. conducted a life insurance study with some interesting findings:
ING's Insurance Revealed study uncovered striking disconnects in attitudes and behaviors towards life insurance. The study revealed that the majority of consumers understood the value - particularly death benefit protection for their family - and felt the current economy made life insurance more important. Yet, many lack confidence in their coverage amount and have not talked with their spouse about what would happen to the family finances if one of them passed away.
Most women (and men) think life insurance is important. In the ING survey 78% of survey respondents indicated that life insurance is an important part of their overall financial plan. And women even more than men agreed that the economic environment has made life insurance more important.
In addition, women are more likely than men to start and have conversations about the need for life insurance.
I talked with ING's Maggie Mitchell, VP Advanced Sales, about women and life insurance.
I asked her why, with all these trends, are women still underinsured? Maggie's response:
"Women fail to put value on what they bring to the family. There's the paycheck, but also home duties, paying bills, contributing to saving for college and retirement. There's also a failure to look at what it costs to keep up a safe, caring home environment."
Maggie pointed out another problem:
"Women are relying on employer provided life insurance. Our study showed that 49% of people accept their employer provided life insurance as their only life insurance source. People are blindly accepting the amount their employer provides. 65% of all women surveyed haven't calculated how much they actually need. Plus, employer provided life insurance is often not portable if the woman leaves or loses that job."
The bottom line is that women have little to no confidence they have enough life insurance. There's a real opportunity here for financial professionals to reach out to women, look at their situation, and make sure their female clients have enough life insurance.
Women talk about the "what if's?"
Maggie Mitchell made another important point about selling life insurance to women.
"Women are more likely than men to talk about "what if's" - what if one of us loses a job.....how do we pay the bills if....what if the house burns down..... Women focus on and talk about the risks of life."
This is yet another reason why financial professionals should be talking to women about life insurance. Women may be the ones in the couple initiating conversations about insurance and how they can protect themselves and their families.