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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Half of women working in the UK without protection insurance

It has been found that 48% of women working in the UK do not have any form of protection policy in place, such as life insurance and critical illness cover, according to Aegon’s Protection Matters report

Protection among working women is "worryingly low" ©iStock
Protection among working women is "worryingly low" ©iStock

It reveals that just 10% of women with protection automatically receive this through their employer, despite 32% believing it to be a key decision-making factor when looking at job roles.

With 51% of working women the main breadwinner in the family, and 46% considering themselves responsible to provide financial support should the unexpected happen, there are calls for more to receive the safety net which insurance cover provides.

Aegon UK, protection director, Stephen Crosbie, said: “The level of protection among working women is worryingly low and many of these women carry the sole responsibility to financially support their family in the event of unexpected illness or in the worst case, death.

“Yet, few are taking the steps to protect themselves and their loved ones. The number of employers automatically providing this safety net is surprisingly low.

“It is therefore vital that women across the country double check with their employers about protection insurance in the workplace and if there is no provision, take it into their own hands.”

With many employers being given a wide range of responsibilities in areas like pensions, it is thought that some cannot offer additional protections, and that advisors play a key role in encouraging extra cover.

A quarter of women view a workplace pension as the number one benefit an employer can offer, however, time off due to serious illness can prevent payments being made, according to Aegon.

It argues that policies like life insurance, income protection and critical illness cover can provide vital financial support needed to maintain as ‘normal’ a life as possible during times of need.

“Auto-enrolment has successfully started to close the pensions gap in the UK, but currently there’s little being done to address the protection gap, which emphasises the importance of women taking responsibility for their own protection needs by seeking advice,” Crosbie continued.

“Sorting out your own protection comes with some benefits. A personal protection policy is portable, it moves with you wherever you go − if you’re in work, between employers, or starting a new job, you’ll always be protected.

“It’s also more tailored than a workplace policy, enabling you to manage the costs, the level of protection and provider. With the help of an adviser you can ensure that you choose the protection cover to best suit your needs.”

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