Top pick: Ladder
- Apply online and get a decision instantly
- Up to $8 million in coverage
- Term life policies from 10 to 30 years
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Life insurance can help make sure your family is taken care of if you die unexpectedly. But only 56% of women have a policy, compared to 66% of men, according to LIMRA’s Life Insurance Barometer Study.
There are a few key reasons why women may need life insurance:
It’s a good idea to get life insurance regardless of whether or not your spouse is insured. If something happens to you, your spouse would be responsible for paying all of the bills and handling the home without your help, which can be costly. Consider taking out a joint policy to protect you both.
Possibly, but it depends on your current health. If you’re in your second or third trimester or are experiencing complications such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, you’ll likely be quoted higher rates or denied coverage until after you have the baby.
Since women have a longer average life expectancy than men, they pay less for coverage. But the actual rate you’ll pay will come down to a range of factors, including your age, health, family medical history, driving record, occupation and lifestyle.
If you’re ready to purchase a policy, these are the main types to choose from:
If you opt for term life insurance, you’ll need to select a term length — aka how long your policy will last. Your options will vary based on your insurer, but the typical terms range from 1 to 35 years.
The best length for you comes down to your budget and financial needs. To crunch the numbers, look at your longest financial obligation — and then try to take out a policy that lasts as long.
For example, if you’re a parent to young children, you might buy a 15-year policy to carry your kids through college. Or, if you have a 20-year mortgage, you could purchase a 20-year policy. That way, your family won’t be burdened with the repayments if you die before paying off the house.
Everyone’s situation is different and you should reflect on your own circumstances and needs before purchasing life insurance coverage. Things to consider when deciding how much coverage to take out include:
An easy way to calculate your coverage amount is to add up your income, assets and outstanding debt — and then take out a policy to match.
In terms of life insurance, the disparity between men and women is increasing over time. A recent Gender, Roles and Life Insurance Survey conducted by Haven Life found that 67% of women have life insurance — compared to 79% of men. Of the participants who owned an individual policy, women had an average of $231,342 in coverage, while men held $423,102.
These findings imply that women put a lower financial value on their lives than men, and point to a gender gap in life insurance purchases.
When comparing policies, keep these tips in mind:
Women still lag behind men when it comes to life insurance, despite the fact that it’s just as important for women to be insured — and it’s cheaper. If you have a family or assets to protect or outstanding debt to your name, compare life insurance companies to find one that fits your needs.
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