Only 56% of American women have life insurance compared with 62% of men. What do women need to know when buying a policy?
Benjamin Franklin was on to something when he said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”
We all plan to be around for every milestone our partner, our children, and our family experience. But the reality is we can’t see into the future. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, let alone the next ten years, which is why we need the peace of mind that a backup plan provides.
That’s where life insurance comes in. Obtaining the appropriate amount of insurance and putting an estate plan in place is not about you—it’s about continuing to “handle” things even if you aren’t around. It’s about financially protecting the ones you love. Building that all-important safety net.
More women are buying life insurance than ever—up 21% since 2010. However, only 56% of American women have life insurance, compared with 62% of men, and, often, they don’t have enough coverage. With more than half of women managing family finances, it becomes even more important for them to be in the driver’s seat of ensuring that both spouses have adequate coverage.
A New Year presents a fresh start and a heightened motivation to be the best version of ourselves. For many, that includes resolutions to “make better financial decisions.” For women looking for some much-deserved peace of mind, life insurance should be part of that resolution.
Here’s what women need to know when buying a policy.
1. Not only is life insurance affordable, it’s even more affordable for women
Women often have more expenses than men when it comes to clothing, cosmetics, and self-care, but they don’t pay more for life insurance. In fact, in all states other than Montana, women have lower rates than men due to their higher life expectancy. It might also be because we make smarter/safer decisions, but that’s another discussion for another time.
Dependable life insurance coverage is more affordable than most people think. For example, a healthy 30-year-old woman can purchase a 20-year, $500,000 policy at Haven Life starting at about $17 per month.
2. No income doesn’t mean no life insurance
Many assume that the only family member who needs life insurance is the primary breadwinner, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Not only is being a stay-at-home parent one of the most demanding jobs in the world, but the cost of replacing all the work they do is quite significant. According to Salary.com, the national average income for all the work a stay-at-home mom accomplishes equates to about $113,000 if your family had to outsource it all.
The right amount of life insurance can help ensure that if a stay-at-home parent were no longer around, their family could meet their day-to-day needs.
3. Employer-provided life insurance isn't enough
Free or nearly-free life insurance through work is a great work perk. But it leads many to wrongfully assume they’re adequately covered.
Employer-provided life insurance is usually only one or two times your annual salary, which is not enough for individuals with a spouse and children. Most experts recommend having coverage that’s five to ten times your annual salary. Additionally, many employer-provided policies are job dependent, so if you leave your job, coverage will end.
For most healthy women, it’s better to enjoy the extra coverage your work provides (especially if it’s free) but to also have an individual life insurance policy outside of work.
4. You need 5-10 times your annual salary in coverage
So how much coverage is the right amount? Answering that question is part art and part…math that’s best left to the experts.
As mentioned, most experts recommend buying a policy that’s five to ten times your annual income, which is a good place to start. But financially protecting your loved ones is rarely as simple as replacing your annual income when you have children, college savings plans, a mortgage, and countless other expenses that come up in everyday life.
Before you reach for some pen and paper (or go back to college to get an advanced degree in mathematics) try a free online life insurance calculator. These tools can be extremely helpful in giving you a personalized recommendation for coverage.
5. You can buy quality coverage online
We handle-it-all women do just about everything online, from grocery shopping, to searching for a dog walker, to ordering a car service. Until recently, however, buying term life insurance was anything but online. It took several weeks and required paper applications, phone calls, doctor’s visits, emails, and faxes – all with no promise of coverage.
In an increasingly digital world, it only makes sense that life insurance should evolve, too. It should be something you can accomplish at any time and from anywhere that’s convenient for you. That’s why we created Haven Life, to offer a simple, affordable way to apply for and, if approved, buy dependable coverage. Even better, Haven Life is backed and wholly owned by MassMutual, a leading life insurance company.
An online experience now means more convenience, more personalization, and more quality than ever before. It’s life insurance that’s actually simple, which makes it a resolution that’s actually simple to keep.
This is your year
Researching and buying life insurance is no longer a daunting task. With women increasingly acting as family CFOs, January is the perfect time to help protect your family’s financial future. Start 2018 off right by protecting what’s really important (your loved ones) in a way that’s actually simple. Check “get life insurance” off your to-do list.
Haven Life is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC15DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC.