Local independent financial adviser, Becky Hammonds of Willow Financial Solutions on why women’s finances matter.
Children are back at school and many parents, especially mothers, are now able to return to their day jobs, after a year of also taking on homeschooling and extra childcare duties.
Yes, it’s over a year since the first Covid lockdown and women’s jobs have been disproportionately affected during this time.
And yet there are no movements from the government to offer extra support or protection for women.
There was no mention of any financial measures to help women in the recent Budget – although it was Chancellor Rishi Sunak who recently specifically mentioned the work “mums” had done over the past year.
So, how can women protect themselves and their families, both now and in the future? Financial protection, such as life insurance and critical illness policies, are one way to do this.
Traditionally men have been far more likely to take these policies out than women. But even though this gap is narrowing, the past year has taught us how important it is that women are protected.
We know they are more likely to be in industries vulnerable to factors like the pandemic or economic recessions, generally earn less than men, and are usually the main care givers to children or elderly relations – so surely this kind of protection should benefit them most?
Despite growing awareness of the benefits of protection insurance, 56 per cent of women surveyed had not considered taking out an income protection or life insurance policy.
The protection insurance industry should ensure that the right mix of products and services are accessible and affordable for women.
Is it a case of women earning less and therefore not being able to afford to buy protection policies? Is it a lack of understanding of what kind of protection is available to them and why they need it, or are they just being overlooked by providers?
Several factors have resulted in women typically being less protected than men.
Research by Iress in 2019 showed the average sum assured over a three-year period for critical illness cover for men was £10,985.88, while for women it was £5,790.17.
Figures from the insurer Swiss Re show that in 2019 men took out an average of £177,340 worth of cover when they bought life insurance with critical illness, compared to £141,738 for women.
This is an important area to redress. If you are not adequately protected get some advice in the first instance.
For protection, pensions and investment advice contact Becky Hammonds on 07969 269677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org