According to LIMRA’s Insurance Barometer Study, in 2022, less than half of American women (46%) had life insurance coverage, seven points below the ownership rate of men (53%). This marks the sixth consecutive year of declines in the rate of women’s life insurance ownership.
At the same time, LIMRA’s most recent Consumer Sentiment study finds women are more concerned than men about the impact of inflation on their quality of life (72% versus 60%). In addition, almost 4 in 10 American women (37%) feel a high level of stress about household finances, as opposed to just 26% of men. These financial concerns may prevent women from taking steps that would support their long-term financial security, including saving for retirement and purchasing the life insurance coverage they need.
LIMRA research reveals women who own life insurance are more likely than those who don’t have coverage to feel financially secure. Importantly, 4 in 10 women say their families would face financial hardship within six months should the primary wage earner die; nearly a quarter (24%) expect their family to struggle financially within one month.
“Women face significant headwinds when it comes to financial security. They generally live longer, make less money and may spend a portion of their career outside of the workplace caring for loved ones,” says Alison Salka, senior vice president and director of research for LIMRA and LOMA. “Owning life insurance is one way women can feel more confident about their financial future.”
So why don’t women own life insurance? The major reasons women give for not having enough or any life insurance is that it’s too expensive (39%), they have other financial priorities (37%) and that they’re not sure what or how much insurance to buy (22%). The reality is that life insurance may not be as expensive as women think. LIMRA research shows 8 in 10 women overestimate the cost of life insurance.
Women and men cite similar reasons for having life insurance with the exception of owning it to cover burial and final expenses, which 65% of women cite as their major reason.
Since March marks Women's History Month, an observance and celebration of the vital roles women have played in American history; it’s the perfect time for the industry to make sure women are financially prepared now and in the future. Owning life insurance can help women feel financially secure today and help their loved ones in the future should the unexpected happen.