Financial advisers are being urged to address the specific insurance needs of women as new research has found that less than 40% have any form of life insurance.
The research, part of the latest BT Australian Financial Health Index, found that while 89% of women were at least jointly responsible for making major financial decisions for their households they lagged behind men in both their level of understanding life insurance and the ownership of cover.
According to the Index, only 37% of women own any type of life insurance compared to 46% of men, while 30% of women stated they could be better informed about insurance, compared to 20% of men. Additionally, 27% of women stated they had a good understanding of how much life insurance should cost them, compared to 35% of men.
“…only 37% of women own any type of life insurance compared to 46% of men…”
Despite these differences, the research found that women held similar attitudes to life insurance as did men with 38% agreeing with the statement that ‘life insurance is something everyone should consider carefully no matter what their situation’, compared with 39% of men surveyed.
BT Life Insurance Senior Product Technical Manager, Katherine Ashby said financial advisers had a key role in closing this gap in knowledge and cover between women and men and encouraged them to discuss locking in level rates for younger clients and examining continuation options for older and retired clients.
Ashby said advisers should also be aware of how parental leave or ceasing work may impact a policy and consider cover for stay at home parents including the retention of occupation-based TPD and standard income protection policies for a later return to work.
“Life insurance is as essential for women as it is for men. And having a good grasp of what types of insurance are relevant for your situation can be even more crucial for women than men, as typically women go through different life stages – from when they enter the workforce, through to when they take potential career breaks to raise children and then return to paid employment,” Ashby said.