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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do Women Need Life Insurance?

Women are the ultimate life jugglers. They have come out of the kitchen and into the office, now making up 50% of the US workforce. But while many are "bringing home the bacon," they are still managing the lion share of the home's responsibilities. Married women have essentially become their husband's economic partners and in a masterful juggling act--- they are balancing career, home and often parental duties.

But, while they shoulder dual financial and family roles, American women still have not caught up to men in life insurance protection. They have made gains, from owning only 29% of all life insurance policies in the US decades ago to now representing 59% of all policies.

Still, according to the American Council of Life Insurance, women are under-insured. LIMRA, a life insurance marketing association, reports that the death benefit for the policies they own is an average of $76,000 while men's is more than double.

What that translates into is that if a woman dies, a family will not only have to cope with the emotional loss of the heart of the home but the death benefit might not replace the lost income. Losing the female head of a family is already a traumatic loss. She is traditionally the main caregiver and nurturer for the children, spouses, and even aging parents. Add to that the financial loss and it could spell an economic catastrophe.

Life insurance helps pay off the cost of a home mortgage, the care of minor children and their future education. It is an important part of a dual income household's living expenses and helps sustain a family's standard of living.

Men buy life insurance to provide protection for his family and to replace his income upon his death but shouldn't a woman do the same? The answer is yes, especially in dual income families. Their value should be the same or even more than a man's.

A woman's contribution, both at work and at home, is multi-dimensional. Her worth is tied into both her emotional and financial roles. She works, she loves, and she nurtures and needs to consider her insurance needs for the benefit of her family's future.

Ileana Bravo is the Director of Media & Investor Relations at LifeQuote, the national leader in life insurance. Follow her at the LifeQuote blog where she covers news and trends related to life insurance, health, and finance.



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