Women continue to trail significantly behind men when it comes to taking out critical illness protection cover, despite the fact that they made more claims than men last year, according to new data from Friends Life. The research into 222,500 current Friends Life critical illness customers is being released as part of the insurer’s month-long focus on gender starting in September. The ‘SeptGender’ campaign has been launched to highlight the need for women to think more carefully about their financial security. Analysis of Friends Life’s critical illness customers shows an overall gender split between policyholders of 58% men to 42% women. However, despite the fact women hold only 42% of critical illness policies, they account for 51% of all critical illness claims made in 2012.
Steve Payne, Managing Director of Protection at Friends Life, said “With so many of the adult population in a relationship, financial planning decisions are largely taken in the context of a family unit. Interestingly, it is quite often the woman for whom protection insurance is most beneficial. Where the male is the breadwinner of the family it is she and her children who will benefit most. Where the woman is the breadwinner of the family, it is vital that she protects her income and her family.
The nature of households and ‘family’ is changing in the UK and it is important that people keep up when it comes to their finances. Increasingly both partners in a family are working, with each separate income stream crucial to keeping the household afloat. It is also important to understand that the number of single-parent families is on the rise, up to 2 million in 2011 with 91% single female parents1, making that single source income perhaps even more crucial than in a two-person household.
Steve Payne added “In the current climate of squeezed incomes and rising price inflation it is crucial that everyone considers how a loss of income would affect their finances. Women are certainly closing the gap when it comes to critical illness but given an ever-increasing financial role, and the fact that they are claiming more than men, women must make sure they are are looking after their finances.”
1 ONS Report: Families and households, 2001 to 2011
As published on friendslife.com