Gone are those days when women were completely and utterly dependent on men financially and emotionally. Today not only do many women manage their own homes, they excel at the office as well. This welcome change is not common to all spheres though: several key sectors are yet to see a significant shift in awareness and attitude, and one of these sectors is the area of health insurance coverage. Statistics from the Insurance Awareness Survey Report released in 2012 by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) showed that in India far fewer women were opting for health coverage as opposed to their male counterparts.
From the IRDA Insurance Awareness Survey Report, 2012
All this true while women have the same tendency to fall sick as men do. In fact, with the increased demands of contemporary lifestyles and work attitudes, higher stress levels and a host of other factors have led to an alarming rate of health problems for the modern woman.
Another survey carried out by the ICICI Lombard General Insurance revealed that for many women, health insurance-and insurance in general are decided on either by a father or a husband. 39% of respondents were covered because they benefited from a plan bought by a father or husband. Only about 33% actually owned a health insurance plan. While almost all of them claimed to be of good health, 47% of respondents had fallen sick within the previous 2 months.
It suffices to say there is a lot left to be desired in terms of awareness in this particular area. The truth is: women have a lot to gain from investing in insurance in general and health insurance in particular.
First of all, it’s fair. There is no reason why you should be cheating yourself of a great opportunity to manage your money against rainy days. This is true especially if you are gainfully employed and can afford it. There is a certain assurance that comes with having the right insurance plan in place
Furthermore, it makes good sense from a financial standpoint. Experts believe that women who contribute significantly to the family’s finances should opt for a term insurance plan. Anil Kumah Singh, Chief Actuarial Officer at Birla Sun Life Insurance posits that, “Term cover acts as a safety net and helps the family of the insured to maintain their standard of living and pay for important milestones after them.”
Imagine a scenario where both the man and the woman are employed gainfully. Both incomes are taken into account when long-term goals of the family are set. If the unfortunate should happen and the woman passes away all these plans may become unattainable if the income of the man is not significant enough to meet up.
This would not be the case if the woman had been adequately insured.
There are other benefits that accrue to women who take the initiative to get insured, no matter their station in life.
As a single woman, it is easy to imagine yourself not in need of life insurance because you have no dependents. But this could not be farther from the truth. Life insurance can play a crucial role in financial planning and can be used to pay off your debts, normalize your final taxes, and take care of other estate expenses-all of which could constitute a burden to relatives left behind.
As a single mother your child lies at the center, and you have primary responsibility for their support and wellbeing. There is a lot of peace of mind to be had by going for life insurance which will ensure continued support for your child’s future. Getting life insurance will be giving them a major leg up towards their future.
Stay-at-home moms are easily the most under-appreciated set of people in the world. It would be impossible to put a price tag on the crucial role homemakers play in turning a house into a home. Employing people to fill all the roles that stay-at-home moms play would be a very expensive enterprise to say the least. Then there is the income that could otherwise have been earned by stay-at-home mothers if they stepped out to look for employment. Getting life insurance prevents your family from bearing the damage of all these costs should the unfortunate happen. Those who work can keep on working to provide income while using the life insurance to fill the void at home left behind.
Modern families usually depend on dual incomes to meet their financial objectives, cover everyday living expenses, and plan for major financial undertakings such as education, leisure and retirement. As we have already mentioned above, a working woman adopting a life insurance plan can go a long way to mitigate the effect of losing the income that they bring to their families.
Today there are more and more women in business and this is a good thing. Life insurance could provide the much needed cash to maintain the business while it is being sold or going through a period of transition during the settlement of your estate. It could also be useful in offsetting the loss of several key members of the company owing to your departure. Buy-Sell arrangements could also benefit from the funds from a life insurance plan at this time.
Many women provide care for aging or sick members of the family. Often, this entails providing out-of-pocket expenses such as specialised transport, medical expenses, adult day care, and so much more. Having a life insurance plan in place is a great way to ensure that these services continue should you pass away.
This article has paid particular attention to health insurance and life insurance, but all insurance can be of benefit to women. Get insured as soon as you can, covering all aspects of your life that hold value and meaning to you. You will not only gain peace of mind, but those around you will benefit greatly from your foresight and thank you for it.