Although women are increasingly exposed to more responsibility in the work place and at home, studies show that they are still too passive when it comes to making financial provision.

This is demonstrated by gender disparities in retirement provision and life policy coverage. According to Joretha Visser, head of risk product development at Liberty Life, “Less than 40% of Liberty Life’s policyholders are women.” Industry research among independent financial advisers has indicated that financial planners meet male clients 78% of the time. Only 12% of planning sessions are known to involve women while the other 10% of respondents gave no information on gender differentiation.

Yet the need for women’s involvement is highlighted by further data. For example, a US study shows that one in four women will suffer a stroke or heart attack by the age of 60. Furthermore, US sourced statistics indicate that about 20% of women will never marry, 50% of marriages end in divorce and 75% of women will spend a third of their lives single, as widows or divorcees.

Historically, the marketing of insurance products was focussed and dedicated to men as the breadwinners. Nowadays, often households are either headed up by single women or women contribute to the joint household income. Liberty Life recognises the need to speak to women in this regard.

“Liberty Life’s Lifestyle Protector Product addresses women’s specific needs,” says Joretha. “Our product focuses on life protection, loss of income protection, lifestyle and policy protection from a woman’s perspective while providing cover against pregnancy complications and congenital birth defects. Other focus areas are cover for child specific illnesses and education benefits.”

The challenge believes Liberty Life, is to improve awareness among women. The tools for financial empowerment are available, all women have to do is seize them.Its not only limited to career women and wage-earners, traditional home-makers and older housewives need to become financially aware too.

“Women have a duty to themselves and their children to find their voice on financial matters. Women need to involve themselves in the financial decision-making,” says Joretha.

“Women need to sit down and assess their current financial situation where they are in terms of their present protection and future goals,” she continues. “To do that, women have to be more aware and more proactive. Nows not a bad time to start.”

Article provided by: FAnews