Women, who make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, are less likely than men to protect their income with life insurance according to a recent MetLife guide, Protecting a Diverse Workforce-Steps to Address the Life Insurance Gap.
With life insurance ownership already at a 50-year low, the gap in uninsured and underinsured women perpetuates the troubling trend.
Stephen Pontecorvo, vice president, Group Life Products at MetLife said, “As families increasingly depend on the income of a working woman, the ramifications of being underinsured are growing; MetLife research reveals that the workplace is the primary source for obtaining life insurance coverage for women, which uniquely positions employers to help close the underinsured gap.”
Employers are in a position to take a proactive role in helping women become adequately covered simply because life insurance information is usually disseminated through the workplace. The guide urges employers to provide access to a mix of products that meet different needs, make available education materials and decision support tools to their female workforce and craft communications that reiterate the vital need for life insurance. Employers should take care that all of these measures are tailored to women.
The guide contends that working women have disparate ideas pertaining to the use and purpose of life insurance and benefit messaging-showcasing the peace of mind that one can attain when knowing that their family is protected in case of an untimely death may be more effective than other life insurance attributes when getting women to purchase products.
Having an online and social media presence can also make selling to women easier. The guide maintains that women feel more comfortable receiving financial advice from people that they are close to so, social networking with peers and coworkers who are covered can serve as a valuable resource. Additionally, the study found that 43% of women would like access to benefits information online, 39% would like information tailored to their life stages and another 39% would like access to someone who can explain more about the benefits to them. Thirty percent want more frequent communication. Employers should take heed of these findings while shaping educational materials for employees.
The education tools that are distributed employees should strive to contain detailed benchmarks explaining what type of insurance is the best fit for certain individuals ideally containing tools like in-depth calculators so that employees can better understand their needs.