Despite Need, Women Less Likely to Have Life Insurance Than Men

The Life Insurance Gender Gap [couple sharing coffee]

Nearly half of women today earn the same or more than their spouses.* Even in households where women earn less, the money they bring in is probably needed to cover many expenses, especially as inflation continues to drive up the costs of goods and services.

Despite the important role women’s wages play in today’s family finances, a recent Mutual of Omaha survey revealed just 37% say they have life insurance coverage that could replace their income should something happen to them.** Compare that to the 50% of men who say they have life insurance, and it’s clear there is a significant gender gap that could leave some families facing financial hardship if the female spouse’s income suddenly stopped.

Even if a woman doesn’t work outside the home, having enough life insurance to cover final expenses, childcare or other services she provides a family, could spare them from having to shoulder these sudden, unexpected costs.

“More than ever, dual-income households and single-parent households are relying on a woman’s income to maintain their quality of life,” said Mutual of Omaha Agent Lokyan Yip-Patterson. “With that in mind, I strongly encourage all my women clients to protect their family’s well-being by having adequate life insurance that would replace their wages should something happen to them.”

Because some life insurance policies can add to a diversified retirement portfolio, single women with no dependents can also benefit from having coverage.

When it comes to life insurance, it pays to be a woman. Because the cost of coverage is based on actuarial data that shows women, on average, live longer than men, they can expect to pay less than their male spouse for the exact same coverage. And because life insurance rates go up with age, the younger a woman is when she purchases coverage, the more she’ll save.

Yip-Patterson said she encourages women who are curious just how much life insurance coverage they need and what it will cost to compare rates and different types of policies using the many free tools and calculators available online.

“I often find women are surprised at just how affordable it can be to protect their families with life insurance coverage, Yip-Patterson said. “They also find the peace of mind they gain is well worth the cost.”


**Findings are from a September 2023 Mutual Insights survey of 400 U.S. consumers ages 18-77.

The Life Insurance Gender Gap [donut charts]

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