New research released yesterday by Irish Life has found that women in Ireland are under-protected when it comes to securing the financial future of themselves and their families.
It is estimated that less than half of women in Ireland have some form of financial protection such as life insurance, specified illness cover or income protection, compared to two thirds of men (60%).
Furthermore, just 45% of specified illness claims were paid to women, compared to 53% to men. The research shows that women are claiming life insurance payments and specified illness payments at a much earlier age than men – the average age for female life claims was 64 years, compared to 67 years for men. For specified illness claims, the average age for female claimants was just 51 years, compared to 55 years of age for male claims.
Irish Life’s 2017 claims report shows the number of women dying from cancer in Ireland remains high, as over half of women’s life insurance claims (54%) were for cancer in 2017, compared to 38% of men. Cancer was also the main cause for Specified Illness claims for women (77%) and for men (49%). Breast cancer was the main type of cancer claim for women (39%), followed by colon cancer and ovarian cancer.
Irish Life recently published its annual claims report for its retail business, confirming that it paid out €187.8 million to 2,582 customers and their families affected by illness and death during 2017. The claims report highlights that Irish Life paid €129.7 million for 1,689 Life Insurance claims, €53.7 million for 853 Specified Illness Cover claims, and a further €4.4 million for 40 Terminal Illness claims.
Speaking this week, Senior Manager for Protection in Irish Life Retail, Sarah Kelly said, "It’s worrying to see a stark lack of financial protection for women in Ireland, which is reflected in both our 2017 claims report and our own research study with Coyne Research. It’s really important that women take time to assess their own financial protection needs and what they can do to protect themselves and their family against any unexpected events."