Figures released by technology firm, Iress, reveal a significant difference in protection sums assured between men and women, raising concerns that women run more of a risk of being underinsured than their male counterparts. The analysis1, collated over the last three years, found no substantial gender difference in those arranging protection cover, with women accounting for 46% of protection sales and men accounting for 54%. However, it did reveal large variations in the respective sums assured arranged for men and women. For example, male sums assured for critical illness cover were 90% higher than female sums assured, at £10,985 and £5,790 respectively. For combined life and critical illness cover, the difference was 50% and for life cover only it was 53%.
Huge shortfall needs to be addressed.
The gender pay gap and other societal factors can, to some degree, explain these differences in protection sums assured but the extent of the gender gap has been a surprise. As well as a concern that women may be underinsured, there is a general issue of potential underinsurance for both sexes. With the average UK house price standing at £232,710, according to most recent government data2, it may be expected that levels of life cover would be close to this figure. Instead, the average sum assured being arranged in 2019 for men is £129,033.53 and £103,758.69 for women.
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1Iress, July 2019
2HM Land Registry September 2019
This material is for information purposes only and does not constitute a sales offer or financial advice. Before taking out any insurance or any other financial product, you must obtain individual advice regarding your requirements and general policy conditions. The presented information & data are valid at the time of publishing.
Source: Quilter Financial Planning – Essentially Mortgages Q4 2019