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Life Insurance for Women and Men: Gender Differences


In general, men have more life insurance coverage than their female counterparts. On average, women have about 69% as much coverage as compared to life insurance for men (according to an annual study by LIMRA). Most households seem to value life insurance for men over life insurance for women–which may have to do with disparities in income. The amount of coverage desired for men is also generally more substantial.


Recently, more women have started to carry life insurance in at least some form. About 60% of women had life insurance in 2010 according to the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA). However, LIMRA also pointed out that the policies have declined overall, and surprisingly more for men than for women since 2010. What is contributing to this? A recent Pew study showed that 30% of wives are now earning more than their husbands. However, purchasing life insurance for women has not increased at that rate and most households generally still choose to buy whole life insurance for men, while not doing the same for female counterparts.

More households may now depend upon two incomes as more women are working and the families have come to depend on this joint income. It is now more important to protect the financial assets of the family. Hence both breadwinners may want to carry some kind of life insurance.

LIMRA research also showed that life insurance for women is often chosen through interaction with an insurance agent. For women, it may make more sense for insurance professionals to adjust their strategy to meet their particular insurance needs. To find out more about choosing a life insurance broker, visit the articleLife Insurance Brokers: When and How to Use Them.” This, in turn, may be helpful to the agents since they may not only get women insured, but may also get referred and help find life insurance for men and women to the prospect’s circle of contacts.

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