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Life Insurance is for the People You Leave Behind

According to research compiled by LIMRA (a market research outfit), the gender gap is closing in life insurance. In 2010, about six out of every 10 women held some kind of life insurance policy. Overall, life insurance levels are down since 2004, but women held on to their policies in more instances than men. Sill, however, the amount of coverage women carry is about 69 percent less than that of their male counterparts.

The numbers say 70 percent of women value life insurance as opposed to 62 percent of men. The company attributed this to the fact that most modern households have two incomes, with women contributing to the financial and business decisions of the family on a greater level than in years past. Research conducted by Pew, says that about 30 percent of wives actually earn more than their husbands, but LIMRAs findings suggest their insurance coverage has not increased in line with their greater financial role in the family.

Any time I start writing about life insurance, I think about the death of a 95-year-old aunt. She and my uncle had no children and I inherited their few possessions, an aging home in a dusty West Texas town, and a little money. Very little. But, in among all that was a life insurance policy. For $1,500. Which was a lot of money when they took it out in 1945. It just did cover the cost of the casket.

Life insurance isn’t for you. It’s for the people you leave behind or for the debts you will leave behind. And there isn’t just one type of life insurance, there are now many products, some which are even regarded as investments or savings plans. Most people are woefully ignorant of these sorts of policies and assume they can’t afford them anyway. That, like most assumptions, is likely in error. Ask yourself the serious question, “If I died tomorrow, would my husband / wife children be okay for money?” If you can’t answer yes, then you need to learn more about life insurance and build it into your financial plan.

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