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Is there a life insurance gender gap?

Oct 22, 2020 3 Minute Read

Life insurance is there to protect your family financially if something happens to you. And like so many issues surrounding money, gender often plays a role in who gets covered, and for how much.

There are plenty of well-documented differences between men and women when it comes to financial matters, including earnings over a lifetime and career advancement. While the gender pay gap is shrinking, women still only make 85 cents to every dollar a man makes. Females in CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies reached a record this year – yet they still only make up just 7% of all Fortune 500 CEOs.

These differences also hold true with women and life insurance. Being aware of them, and the factors that may affect life insurance for men and women, can help you address the life insurance gender gap and make sure everyone in your household has enough coverage – regardless of their gender.

Is there a gender gap in life insurance?

First, let’s look at the facts. According to a 2020 industry study, 49% of women own life insurance, compared with 58% of men. Beyond insurance ownership by gender, women also tend to have less coverage than men, owning an average of $160,782 in life insurance compared with $206,357 for men.

Skimping on life insurance coverage for women can hurt your entire family financially, especially since a growing number of families depend on two incomes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of all families had both spouses employed as of 2020. That’s money your family is counting on to pay the bills, like everyday expenses or your mortgage.

Even if you’re a stay-at-home parent, coverage still matters for both spouses. One study found it would take a whopping $162,581 a year to hire help to cover a stay-at-home parent’s typical workload, including child care, chauffeuring, and household upkeep. If you don’t earn an income, most life insurance companies will consider your partner’s income or life insurance coverage in force when approving you for coverage.

If the cost is holding you back from getting covered, keep in mind that life insurance costs less than most people think – and women generally get the lowest prices. Since women have a longer life expectancy than men, insurance companies take that into account when deciding the rate you’ll pay.

Closing the gap

So, what will it take to close the life insurance gender pay gap? We think that regardless of your gender, insurance should be simple and affordable. Here’s how eFinancial is working to make life insurance easier for everyone:

  • We make it fast and convenient. Women spend an average of 2.5 hours daily on housework alone – on top of working and minding the kids. With eFinancial, you can compare quotes from multiple companies online in one minute. And, one call can get you covered with life insurance, so you can get on with your day.
  • We provide advice. A recent US Bank survey found that women feel less confident about managing money than men, and have more negative emotions around their financial planning. We know that life insurance can be complex, and that’s why our licensed agents are available by phone to give advice and answer any questions you may have.

Have more questions?

We’re here to help. Give one of our agents a call or start a quote online.


At eFinancial, our goal is to make life insurance simple, affordable, and understandable for everyday families. This content is intended for educational purposes only. Each post is carefully fact-checked, reviewed and updated regularly to ensure the information is as relevant as possible.