New research has revealed a big gap between the number of working women supporting their families financially and the level of protection they have in place, should the worst happen.
Almost half of all working women in the UK do not have any form of protection in place to cover their dependants if they became seriously injured or ill or passed away.
This is despite 51 per cent being the main breadwinner in their family, new research has revealed.
Financial safety: Protection policies are designed to pay out should you lose your income
Without a protection policy in place, many women are putting themselves at risk of serious financial difficulties if something were to happen, a new report from insurer Aegon has claimed.
It asked 2,051 working women about their financial situation. Of those, 51 per cent said they were the main breadwinner in their family and 46 per cent said it would be their sole responsibility to financially support their family should something happen.
Yet 48 per cent said they don’t have a protection policy in place and would instead use their partner’s income, savings or Government benefits if something happened.
Protection policies are designed to cover you in times of hardship and to make sure there is enough money available to cover costs such as mortgage repayments.
There are lots of difference policies available with life insurance, income protection and critical illness being the most well known.
The research also showed that when choosing a new job, benefits such as life insurance and critical illness are an important factor and 44 per cent of women said they had asked their employer what was available.
Around a third of those asked said the protection benefits included with their job were a key factor when deciding on whether to take the job or not.
While just 10 per cent said their employer offered a protection policy as a benefit.
Stephen Crosbie, protection director for Aegon UK 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.
Safety gap: 48 per cent of working women have no protection policy in place
‘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 and 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.
‘Government initiatives such as auto-enrolment have 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 and getting a protection policy to suit their needs.
‘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.’