Life insurance for women has been an area that has been under-serviced for way too long, with the consequence that women are significantly over-represented in the under-insured statistics for Australia.

FACING dirty nappies, the dentist or a pap smear is better than the reality of getting life insurance for many Australian mums, a survey has found.

Life Insurance for women

Mum with eight arms dealing with family needs and a caption Modern Mum indicating a need for life insurnace for womenAn article published on news.com.au/finance/money in early 2011, gave details of some research by Lonergan’s that showed some disturbing statistics: women who are Mums are seriously under-insured –

  • 62% do not have Life Insurance protection
  • 83% say their untimely death would put a severe financial burden on their family
  • 85% are frustrated by the time involved to apply for protection, the apparent cost of it – and it seems over-complicated.

It is our understanding that whilst there has been some modest improvement in this situation, there is a persistent over-representation of women in the under-insured.

Life Insurance generally

In simple terms, Life Insurance is financial cover to provide a lump sum to the beneficiary of the policy in the event of the death of the life insured.

In emotional terms, that should be translated to peace of mind for the ‘survivor beneficiaries’ that whilst they will grieve the loss of their provider, their financial position will be one less matter to worry about.

What risks are covered in determining an insurance needs amount?

The financial drain on a family consequent upon the loss of mother is often only marginally different from what is experienced if Dad passes. The only area of difference in many families, is which is the greater ‘bread winner’ in terms of earnings they bring into the family.

In practical terms, life insurance can provide money to deal with a number of needs that arise at a time when beneficiaries can be feeling quite fragile. Adequate life insurance cover should take into account –

  • Funeral costs;
  • Mortgage debt;
  • Credit card and/ or ‘other’ debt;
  • Residual health costs;
  • Emergency contingency;
  • Lifestyle costs;
  • Future education expenses; and
  • Future income needs.

Securing life insurance for women:

Provided that all relevant information is properly provided (and that there are no impediments that preclude protection being available), a policy application can be completed from as short a time as around 20-minutes or, in more detailed circumstances, shouldn’t take more than an hour or so. The process can, with most insurers, be undertaken with underwriting conducted by telephone (and in that way, minimising any personal concerns or embarrassment that the applicant may have in discussing particular family or personal health history with their adviser).

The cost of the policy will vary according to a number of factors, but for each individual the variables are minimal: age, gender, occupation, health status/ history and level of cover benefit applied for.

What complicates an insurance application if it isn’t that straight forward?

– inadequate record of the health of direct family members;
– uncertainty about which of the items listed above to cover – and for how much (after taking into account existing financial resources as to value and their liquidity);
– 
not answering health questions properly, then being uncovered when the underwriter makes the relevant health checks; and
– not knowing who to nominate as the registered owner of the policy,

but all of these matters can be resolved. They become a lot easier to deal with if the main objective is kept clearly in focus: providing the nearest to financial independence as possible for those whom you love and who are dependant on you!

Ensuring adequate life insurance cover with minimal complication..

The advisers at Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd have had success in getting life risk insurance protection written and in force for even some of the more complicated applicants: we are persistent in our pursuit of Underwriters to ensure the most diligent consideration is given to every application. We would be delighted to work with you to find the peace of mind for you and your family that is afforded through a well designed insurance plan.

To experience the professional attention of one of our experienced advisers, please call our office on 07-3421 3456, or complete the contact us form on our website: your request will be promptly and efficiently attended.

(Originally published March 2011; this post has been occasionally revised and updated, most recently in January 2019.)