“Women and society need to acknowledge that they are not just a crucial part of the UK workforce, but are also contributing a critical amount to their household, through income and other forms of support such as childcare or running a home.”
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Up to £25,000 lost to UK households if women fall ill or die –but more than half do not have protection insurance.
For International Women’s Day, Canada life explored the gap in protection between those insured and those with no insurance among women aged 25-45.
Women in this age group have significant financial responsibilities. After all working women and sleep don’t often go together. Should they fall ill or die, 49% estimate their household could lose up to £25,000 per year with 27% saying more than this amount would be at risk. Two thirds of this age group of women even have children under 18 with 40% paying back a mortgage.
More than half of women at the height of their financial and family responsibilities (aged 25 to 45) do not have any kind of protection insurance.
A further 35% do not own their own home, meaning three quarters in total would likely be liable for helping to fund housing costs such as rent.
Factors such as no longer being able to help with housekeeping and childcare as well as lost salary or wages, need to be considered.
Women aged 25-45 were asked the question: If you were no longer able to contribute to your household for any reason, how much extra do you think your absence would cost your household per year? Here are their answers:
Among women aged 25 to 45 Half of women have not even considered the need for protection
With women accounting for nearly half of the UK workforce in 2018, they play a significant role in making financial decisions – only 6% of cohabiting or married women aged 25-45 say their partner makes the majority of financial decisions, with 46% doing so with their partner equally and 48% making decisions independently.
Yet more than half (57%) of women in this age group have not taken out any kind of individual protection and a similar proportion (50%) say they have never considered their need for protection and are not planning to do so in the near future. A third (34%) do admit they would be prompted to do so by a personal experience, such as the loss of a friend or a loved one.
Natalie Summerson, National Sales Manager for Individual Protection at Canada Life and a founder member of the Women in Protection group, comments:
“With up to £25,000 at stake for UK households, it is alarming to see that so many women have never even considered taking out individual protection insurance, be it life insurance or critical illness cover.
“Given the emotional strain of a loved one falling ill or passing away, families should not have to also worry about the financial implications of one less person contributing to the household, or be forced to rack up debt that could follow them for a lifetime.
“As an industry and society we need to acknowledge that women are not just a crucial part of the UK workforce, but are also contributing a critical amount to their household, through income and other forms of support such as childcare or running a home.
“The need for protection is high and women need to be encouraged and enabled to take care of themselves and their families should the worst happen.
Produced with thanks to Natalie Summerson, National Sales Manager for Individual Protection at Canada Life.
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 ONS Household disposable income and inequality in the UK: financial year ending 2017:
 UK labour market: February 2018