The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored many known disparities across race, socioeconomic status, and geographies. It has also brought the subject of life insurance to the foreground for many families, making this a good time to reexamine the gender gap in life insurance and its potential impact on a family’s financial security.
Statistically, women buy less life insurance than men and have less coverage when they do own a policy. The million-dollar question is…why?
Women make on average 22% less than men, according to Haven Life. Haven Life reported that the life insurance coverage gap nets out to women holding 83% less coverage, with the dollar value of this gap in coverage between men and women is an astonishing $192,000, with men carrying almost double the policy limits as women.
Undervaluing Women’s Contributions to the Household
Haven Life also reported that women fill an average of 6.44 roles in the house, from lawn care to grocery shopping to child care, versus an average of 5.88 for men. Another study, cited by the U.K. publication Today, women do two more hours of housework per day than men do.
In the United Kingdom, on average, women do 40% more household work than men, according to the U.K. Office for National Statistics.
In Canada, the CBC reports, women do 50% more unpaid work than men.
Which leads to this surprising Haven Life finding: Only 67% of the women polled had life insurance, even though 79% of them believe their death would significantly impact their family. In contrast, 78% percent of men thought their death would affect their family, and 79% owned it.
Both genders value life insurance almost equally, but according to Haven Life’s survey, there’s a 12% gap between when it comes to actually buying it.