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Life Insurance and Gender

Women on average only have about 69% as much life insurance coverage as men do, which partly has to do with income disparity.  Just recently though, the percent of women to carry some form of life insurance is nearing that of men.  In 2010 about 60% of women carried life insurance which just about closed the gap between men and women according to the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA).

LIMRA also indicates in their recent study that life insurance policies over all are down since 2004 and the decline is much more for men than it is for women.  A Pew study showed that 30% of wives earn more than their husbands but life insurance has not increased to match that statistic.  LIMRA says households are still less likely to buy whole life insurance policies for wives than for husbands.

Cheryl Retzloff, the senior research director at LIMRA, says most households have two incomes coming in with more and more women working.  With this said, life insurance policies should be increasing accordingly.  The article on the Financial Advisor Magazine website "Life Insurance Gender Gap Narrows, LIMRA Says" points out how important this is to protect families.  If a family relies on two incomes from the husband and wife, then it makes sense that both should carry some form of life insurance.

LIMRA research shows that women are more interested in having a relationship with their life insurance agent, so this is an opportunity for the industry to tweak their strategy when it comes to women.  The study indicates women want more research material and they take more time to make their final decision on life insurance.  This can pay off for agents since women are also more likely to make referrals to their friends and families.

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