A total of 67% women and 72% of mothers work to support their family, yet almost one in three (30%) have no savings whatsoever, while nearly half (49%) have never discussed the impact of their death.
If the average working mother over 25 couldn’t work her household’s annual income would fall by £21,000.
Dougy Grant, protection director at Aegon UK, said: “These report findings are concerning. Women are key to running most households, yet despite this they aren’t taking the necessary steps or having the difficult discussions to put the necessary protection plans in place in case something should happen to them.”
“Whether it’s a reluctance to discuss the unimaginable, a feeling that protection isn’t affordable, or simply a lack of awareness about the services on offer, there are plenty of reasons why women aren’t insuring themselves for the benefit of their family.
“There’s a clear disconnect between the peace of mind of protecting our most pressing priorities and our behaviour as a consumer.”
In the event of a serious illness or accident, almost one in three (28%) working women would need to rely heavily on state support if they were unable to work for six months, yet more than half (55%) have no idea how much it pays out.
Against a woman’s average annual income of £23,589 a mother would face a shortfall of £21,137.50 pre-tax if they were to rely on the state alone.
Sarah Pennells, consumer expert and editor of SavvyWoman.co.uk, said: “Preparing ahead for long-term illness, or worse, isn’t just about assessing how much savings you have or whether you should consider taking out a protection policy.
“It’s also about discussing who you‘d like to manage your finances for you if you’re unable to do so; who should look after your children if both you and your partner die and what arrangements need to be made after your death.”
“Aegon’s report shows that half of mums with children under 18 haven’t talked about their death with their closest family.
“This type of conversation is never going to be easy, but talking about it and putting plans in place will ultimately make things a little easier for your family, should the worst happen.”
Two in five (40%) working women, or just over one in three mums (34%), said they’d rely on savings to weather the financial storm if they were unable to work for six months, yet seven in 10 (70%) admit they couldn’t financially last six months.
Grant added: “The adviser is pivotal in addressing this disconnect and helping translate these priorities into the most appropriate actions for the customer.
“Key life stages such as marriage, having children, buying a house, getting divorced are all trigger points for a review of protection needs with any customer.”