Women are quickly catching up to men as the primary wage earners.1 This makes life insurance a growing priority for many women. However, in 2021, only 47% of adult women in the US owned life insurance. That is much lower than the 58% of adult men with life insurance in 2021.2
This article will explain how life insurance for women works, cover some key facts about life insurance, and explore some types of policies women should consider. Then, we’ll explain how to find the right policy and a few situations where life insurance may be critical for women to have.
Life insurance for women works the same way as it does for men. You pay monthly or yearly premiums, and, in exchange, your insurer agrees to pay your beneficiaries a death benefit if you pass away during the policy term.
As mentioned, women tend to have life insurance less often than men, despite their professional and financial advancements. Among underinsured or uninsured women, 43% said they need a policy or more coverage than what they currently have.2 Women can obtain many types of life insurance, such as Aflac term and whole life insurance.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Help cover yourself and your family with affordable coverage from Aflac.
Here are some key facts about life insurance for women:
Women have a slightly higher life expectancy than men, so they generally pay lower life insurance premiums than men when other factors, such as health, age, policy type, and coverage amount, are equal.3
Employers generally do not offer more than $50,000 in group term life insurance because the IRS may tax any coverage above $50,000.4 This may not be enough coverage for many women in many situations. Furthermore, you can lose employer-sponsored coverage if you change jobs, are laid off, or retire. Many women may consider getting a life insurance policy outside of work. This helps them get the coverage they need and remain protected if they leave their employer.
Pregnant women can get life insurance almost as easily as nonpregnant women. This can be an excellent idea because the policy ensures your new child is financially protected if you pass away during their childhood.
However, you must disclose your pregnancy to the medical examiner because they will likely not perform a pregnancy test. If you are getting a life insurance plan with no medical exam, you should disclose your pregnancy on the medical portion of the application. If you do not disclose the pregnancy and pass away during the policy’s contestability period, usually the first two years of coverage, your beneficiary’s claim may be denied.5
Women who are not the primary wage earners should still consider life insurance, depending on their situation. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, for instance, the death benefit can help your partner pay for childcare and similar costs if you pass away.
Women have many life insurance policies available to choose from. Here are a few policy types to explore:
Consider these factors when choosing the right life insurance policy for women:
Every policy type offers unique features. For example, term life insurance is cheaper than whole life insurance, but you can outlive the policy.6 Furthermore, there are several types of permanent life insurance, each differing in how premiums, death benefits, and cash value work. Compare several policy types to find the right one for you.
Assess your current financial and future financial situation to determine your coverage needs. Account for your income and living expenses. Also, consider your long-term goals, such as sending children to college. A rule of thumb you may be aware of is to get a death benefit equivalent to 10 years of your salary.7 For instance, if you earn $50,000 per year, you would get $500,000 in coverage.
If you have more dependents, you may need a higher death benefit. For example, if you have a partner and several children, you may need to get a substantial death benefit to cover their living expenses and fund future goals. On the other hand, if you have no partner or children, you may not need a large death benefit.
Passing away with debts can reduce the amount of your estate your heirs receive and put a financial strain on them, especially if others rely on your income. Factor debts, such as a mortgage and auto loans, into your coverage calculation.
Life insurance can benefit women in many different situations:
Employed women who are the primary wage earners or whose incomes contribute substantially to the household finances can get life insurance to protect their loved ones. The life insurance policy can replace your income if you pass away, helping your partner raise your kids and cover living expenses without financial strains.
If your partner is the sole earner and you stay home to care for the kids, you still make substantial physical and financial contributions to the household. If you pass away, your partner will have to pay for childcare and other expenses related to maintaining the household.
Furthermore, your life insurance policy can help your loved ones cover your end-of-life expenses, such as funeral costs and medical bills. Your partner can also use the death benefit to help pay for your children’s education, pay off debts, and put your family into a more secure financial position.
Single parents can get a life insurance policy to help ensure their children are cared for if the parent passes away. After your passing, your policy’s payout can help your children’s guardian pay for childcare, education, and daily living expenses.
Single women can benefit from a life insurance policy by helping loved ones pay for funeral costs and travel to the funeral if they pass away. They can also use it to help aging parents pay for long-term care or medical expenses if the policyholder passes away.
Additionally, single women can purchase life insurance to benefit a charitable cause they support. They can name one or more qualifying charitable organizations as beneficiaries.
Women in the workforce are not the only ones who can benefit from a life insurance policy. Life insurance is also important for stay-at-home mothers and those who are not the primary wage earners by offering their partner a death benefit to pay for childcare and household expenses. Therefore, getting life insurance can be a smart financial move for women in various situations. If you’re ready to add life insurance to your financial plan, contact an Aflac agent today.
Explore your life insurance options.
1 Debt.org – Women Rise as Primary Breadwinners, Some Still Face Challenges. Updated November 17, 2020. https://www.debt.org/blog/women-primary-breadwinners/. Accessed May 16, 2023.
2 LIMRA – Understanding the U.S. Women’s Market. https://www.limra.com/siteassets/newsroom/help-protect-our-families/2022/march/feature/understanding-the-women_fact-sheet.pdf. Accessed May 16, 2023.
3 Policygenius – Life Insurance Rates by Gender. Updated April 25, 2023. https://www.policygenius.com/life-insurance/gender/. Accessed May 16, 2023.
4 Internal Revenue Service – Group-Term Life Insurance. https://www.irs.gov/government-entities/federal-state-local-governments/group-term-life-insurance. Accessed May 16, 2023.
5 Bankrate – Life Insurance While Pregnant. Updated April 18, 2023. https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/life-insurance/pregnancy/. Accessed May 16, 2023.
6 Forbes – Term vs. Permanent Life Insurance: What’s the Difference? Updated March 8, 2023. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/life-insurance/term-vs-permanent-life-insurance/. Accessed May 16, 2023.
7 The Balance – Rule of Thumb: How Much Life Insurance Do I Need? Updated October 26, 2021. https://www.thebalancemoney.com/rule-of-thumb-how-much-life-insurance-do-i-need-5119282. Accessed May 16, 2023.
Coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. In New York, coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.
68000 series: In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Virginia, Policies: ICC1368100, ICC1368200, ICC1368300, ICC1368400. In Delaware, Policies A68100-A68400. In New York, NY68100-NY68400.65000 series: In Virginia, Policies ICC0965JTO & ICC0965JWO. B61000 series: In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Virginia, Policies: ICC18B61JWO & ICC18B61JTO. In Delaware, Policies B61JWO, B61JTO. B60000 series: In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Virginia, Policies: ICC18B60C10, ICC18B60100, ICC18B60200, ICC18B60300, & ICC18B60400. Q60000 series: Whole: In Arkansas, Delaware & Oregon, Policy Q60100M. In Idaho Policy Q60100MID. In Oklahoma, Policy Q60100MOK. In Texas, Policy Q60100MTX.Q60000 series: Term: In Delaware, Policies Q60200CM. In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Policies ICC18Q60200C, ICC18Q60300C, ICC18Q60400C.
Final Expense insurance coverage is underwritten by Tier One Insurance Company.
The life insurance policy described herein contains an optional Accelerated Death Benefits Rider that is intended for favorable tax treatment under Section 101(g) of the Internal Revenue Code. Aflac does not give legal or tax advice. Please consult with a qualified legal, tax, and accounting advisor before engaging in any transaction. In AR, AZ, ID, OK, OR, PA, TX and VA: Policies ICC21-AFLLBL21 and ICC21-AFLRPL21; and Riders ICC21-AFLABR22, ICC21-AFLADB22, and ICC21-AFLCDR22. Tier One Insurance Company is part of the Aflac family of insurers. In California, Tier One Insurance Company does business as Tier One Life Insurance Company (Tier One NAIC 92908).
This is a brief product overview only. Coverage may not be available in all states, including but not limited to DE, ID, NJ, NM, NY or VA. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on state and plan levels. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. Policies and riders may also contain a waiting period. Refer to the exact policy and rider forms for benefit details, definitions, limitations and exclusions. For complete details, including availability and costs, please contact your local Aflac agent.
Content within this article is provided for general informational purposes and is not provided as tax, legal, health, or financial advice for any person or for any specific situation. Employers, employees, and other individuals should contact their own advisers about their situations. For complete details, including availability and costs of Aflac insurance, please contact your local Aflac agent.
Aflac does not offer Universal or Variable Universal life insurance.
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