Women tend to underrate the monetary value of what they do in the home, which has serious consequences when trying to formulate the proper life insurance coverage. That was the finding and analysis from a survey sponsored by Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Penn Mutual’s third annual “Worth for Women” survey asked men and women to put a dollar mark on the work they do outside of their jobs. Both men and women pegged the number at around $25,000 annually. However, when researchers looked at the actual hours the men and women said they spent doing home-based tasks such as child care, laundry and meal preparation, men overestimated their value by 13 percent, while the women undervalued their worth.
In fact, the median value of a women’s contribution to the home was $34,256 versus $19,322 for men. Further, the Penn Mutual researchers found that 52 percent of women underestimate their worth by at least $10,000 and another 36 percent were $30,000 off the mark.
These findings have important implications for women and their need for life insurance. In a release detailing the survey’s results, Tracy Marrocco, director of women’s marketing for Penn Mutual, stated, “As a life insurance company, we often see evidence that women underestimate their value to their families-with serious or tragic consequences when that work has to be replaced by outsiders after the untimely death of a wife or mother. Far too many families fail to account for this value, leaving women uninsured or under-insured.”
The survey also found that the median individual coverage amount for women was $100,000, below the $150,000 level for men.