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Despite more and more women being the breadwinners of the family, not enough women are getting life insurance (31%). Life insurance for women is important as they make up a large part of a family’s income (~46.7%). 

That means, if you were to pass away, your family would be living on almost half the income as before. Moreover, many women and men undervalue the true value of a stay-at-home parent. 

The cost of you passing away without life insurance can be a lot higher than without, especially considering that life insurance for women is a lot cheaper than it is for men.

Whether you have a partner, are a single mother, a working woman or a stay-at-home mom, if you have any dependents, a life insurance policy can ensure that your family members will still have a roof over their heads and their most pressing expenses covered.

Is Life Insurance For Women Cheaper Than It Is For Men?

Actually, yes. Much of the time, men end up paying higher life insurance premiums, simply because (statistically speaking) women live longer and have less risk associated with their lives. Life insurance premiums are normally calculated based on factors like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Profession
  • Medical history (family & personal)
  • Where someone lives
  • Lifestyle habits (smoking, drinking, etc.) 

For example, the average lifespan of a Canadian man is 79.9 years of age, versus 84 for women. Some of the most dangerous professions, like firefighting and construction, are still done mainly by males. Even though many females occupy those jobs nowadays too. Since women can pose less liability than men, their life insurance policies can cost less. 

Why Women Don’t Buy Life Insurance As Much As Men And Why They Should?

Recent studies have shown that just over 40% of Canadian households have individual life insurance policies. However, those studies still show that women tend to buy less coverage than their male spouses. Many don’t buy life insurance at all. This seems to be particularly true for women who are stay-at-home parents and under 35 years of age.

There are several causes of this phenomenon but a lot of them have to do with families not recognizing the true cost of potentially losing the primary caregiver for their children. In fact, many people don’t even consider getting life insurance until they buy their first house or start a family. 

Here are some reasons why more women should buy life insurance as much as men:  

Life Insurance For Women Undervalued: The True Cost Of A Stay-At-Home Parent

As mentioned, families tend to undervalue stay-at-home moms because they don’t earn as much income as their male spouses or partners. This is a common mistake since the mother is usually the primary caregiver to their children, which means those costs and responsibilities would fall to the surviving spouse if they were to pass away. Life insurance not only helps provide a financial safety net for the family but helps them avoid taking out unnecessary personal loans

Cover Debts

Life insurance is even more essential for single female parents because it ensures that their children will receive a tax-free death benefit if they pass away. A death benefit is exactly what it sounds like and although the exact amount of coverage depends on the conditions of the policy, beneficiaries can use it to cover many large debts and expenses, such as:

Life Insurance For Women Is Not Offered By All Businesses

Unfortunately, even if a female family member has a job with an income, companies aren’t required to provide life insurance packages for their employees. It’s typically an optional benefit with no minimum or maximum amount of coverage that must be offered. 

Less Uncertainty

Life insurance is also important for women who work in the gig economy, which often provides flexible but temporary forms of employment. Currently, only a small percentage of gig workers are able to access life, dental or health insurance with their employers. 

Since there are many uncertainties with gig work, buying your own life insurance is a good way to protect yourself and your family financially if you pass away without proper employee coverage or get critically injured, disabled, or sick and can’t work anymore.       

Gig Hopping

While some jobs can make it tough to get cheap life insurance, doing gig work shouldn’t cause you to be denied coverage completely. As long as you can afford to pay your premium, there are plenty of policies you can qualify for as a female gig worker. In this case, opting for “no medical” and “simplified issue” policies can allow you to buy life insurance without needing to see a doctor or go through a whole health checkup.     

Life Insurance Is Cheaper When You’re Younger

As mentioned, both age and gender can affect your premiums. While life insurance for women is generally cheaper than it is for men, young women are more likely to qualify for the cheapest life insurance policies. 

Life Insurance For Women: How To Get The Best Rate?

While some things are out of your control when it comes to lowering your life insurance premiums — such as your age — there are other things you can do to help keep the cost of your life insurance policy as low as possible:

Check Your Credit Score

When you apply for life insurance, some providers will check your credit when they evaluate you for coverage. Depending on the health of your credit, it could impact your life insurance premiums. For example, if you have multiple accounts in collections or have recently declared bankruptcy, you could pay a higher premium. 

So, it’s always a good idea to make sure that your credit is in decent shape before you apply for life insurance in Canada, which you can do for free with Compare Hub.   

Compare Your Options

To find the best policies at the lowest rates, it’s important to shop around and compare insurers and negotiate rates. Below are some of the best providers of life insurance for women:

Policy Me

PolicyMe offers simple, cost-effective term life and critical illness insurance with an easy application that takes 20 minutes or less. You can also get instant online quotes with no obligations. With PolicyMe, you can opt for as little as $100,000 in coverage up to 5 million. They also offer a wide range of terms including 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30-year terms.

Benefits Of PolicyMe

  • Complementary Child Coverage – When you’re covered by PolicyMe, you’ll also get $10,000 in free life insurance for each child dependent you have.   
  • Couples Coverage – If you apply for coverage with your spouse or common-law partner, you can get 10% off your premium for your first year with PolicyMe.  
  • Affordable – On average, customers can save about 20% more on their life insurance with PolicyMe than they will with other providers in Canada. 

Canada Protection Plan (CPP)

Canada Protection Plan

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 80, you can get up to $750,000 in No Medical & Simplified Life Insurance and up to $1 million in coverage for all other plans (Critical Illness, Health & Dental, Travel) with CPP. Their term life insurance policies last 10, 20, 25 or 30 years but they offer a range of permanent plans with minimal conditions too.         

Benefits Of Canada Protection Plan

  • Fast Application – Applying for coverage through Canada Protection Plan doesn’t take long. You can also get a free, no-obligation quote to compare rates.   
  • No Medical Questions – If you apply for No Medical & Simplified Life Insurance, you won’t have to spend time answering tons of health-related questions.
  • Many Different Policies – From Guaranteed Acceptance Life to Preferred Elite Life Insurance plans, CPP offers all sorts of options for every type of person.  

Sun Life Go

Sun life Go

With Sun Life Go, you can get flexible term life insurance for 10, 15, 20 or more years, with up to $1 million in coverage when you apply online. You can also obtain guaranteed lifelong protection of up to $25,000 online. However, both their term and permanent policies offer up to $25 million in coverage if you buy your plan through a Sun Life advisor.  

Benefits Of Sun Life Go

  • Skip Medical Exams – If you’re looking for convenience, you can easily apply for SunLife Go life insurance with no medical exam or extensive health questions. 
  • Offers Other Insurance – Sun Life offers lots of other insurance types too, such as health, dental, travel, mortgage protection and business owner’s insurance.   
  • Online Quotes – If you’re not ready to apply, Sun Life also offers no obligation online quotes for Go Simplified, Go Term and Go Guaranteed Life Insurance. 

Don’t Smoke

If you’re a smoker, consider quitting. Not only will your lungs benefit, but so will your pocketbook. Smokers can pay twice as much for a life insurance policy as non-smokers, so you can save quite a bit on your policy if you make this one significant change.

Choose A Shorter Term

A life insurance policy can be most beneficial during your working years when you still have a mortgage and your children are minors. But once your mortgage is paid off and your kids are financially independent, you may not need as much coverage or any at all. Consider choosing a shorter term that will provide you with just enough coverage but won’t cost you as much as a longer-term policy.  

How Much Cheaper Is Life Insurance For Women vs. Men

Life insurance for women is known to be cheaper than it is for men. For example, a woman can save approximately $13,622.4 on a 30-year term policy compared to a man, as seen in the table below.

Life Insurance For Men Monthly Premium Life Insurance For Women Monthly Premium Total Life Insurance For Women Savings
10-year term policy$24.30$18$324
20-year term policy$33.75$24.30$2,268
30-year term policy$195.65$157.81$13,622.4
Permanent policy$257.40$224.10$14,544*

*This number assumes you live for 40 years after taking out the policy. 

**The following chart is sourced from The Globe And Mail and is based on a $500,000 policy for a healthy 30-year old individual. 

Besides gender, the cost of your life insurance policy will depend on the type of policy and the amount of coverage you want. As you can see from the numbers, life insurance premiums go up in price with longer terms and are most expensive for permanent policies that are designed to last a lifetime. 

That said, life insurance for women is cheaper than it is for men for the same types of policies. While the differences seem minimal between the two sexes on a monthly basis, they are much more significant when you take into consideration the cost over an entire term. 

Why Is Life Insurance For Women Cheaper Than It Is For Men?

Certain types of risks are more prevalent in men than women. These added risks make life insurance for men more expensive than life insurance for women. 

Here are some factors that make life insurance for women cheaper than it is for men. 

Women Have A Longer Lifespan

Age is an important factor when it comes to the risk for insurance providers. A higher life expectancy would reduce the risk for the provider and thus lead to lower premiums. 

Statistics show that women live longer lives than men. The average lifespan for women is 84 years and 79.9 years for men. Since women live longer than men do, on average, life insurance for women is generally cheaper than it is for men. 

Suicide Rates Are Lower For Women

Suicide is an important factor life insurance providers consider because it significantly shortens one’s lifespan. Since women have a much lower rate of suicide than men in Canada, it decreases the perceived risk for a woman, which can lead to lower premiums. 

According to Statistics Canada, death rates by suicide more than doubled for men compared to women across almost all age groups.

Women Live Less Risky Lifestyles

The activities you participate in dictate how much of a risk you will be to your insurer and therefore how much you will pay for a life insurance policy. And women tend to live less risky lifestyles than men, generally speaking. This is especially true when it comes to occupation, which is another important factor that helps determine the cost of life insurance. 

Of course, this isn’t necessarily true in all cases. Many women lead much riskier lifestyles than many men. That said, statistics show that men are more likely to take part in more dangerous activities. And while insurance companies won’t restrict life insurance solely based on what the statistics say, they will still consider men to be an increased risk.

Women Have Lower Rates Of Incarceration

Men tend to be convicted of crimes at a higher rate than women in Canada. The higher the risk of landing in jail, the higher the risk for the insurance companies who cover them. As such, the lower incarceration rates for women can lead to lower life insurance premiums for women. 

Final Thoughts On Life Insurance For Women

Gender can affect the price you pay for a life insurance policy. But it’s just one of several factors that influence your premiums, many of which are in your control to help minimize your contributions to your policy. Speak with an insurance agent or broker to help you get an accurate quote for a policy that provides you with the right coverage at the right price for your budget.

Life Insurance For Women FAQs

What factors can affect my life insurance policy?

Gender isn’t the only factor that’s taken into account when a life insurance company calculates premiums for individual applicants. The following factors also play a key role in the price of a life insurance policy:
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Lifestyle
  • Location
  • Smoking habits
  • Health history
  • Family history of health issues

Can I get a no-medical life insurance policy?

Yes, lots of life insurance providers can offer you a policy with no medical exam. Some of the most popular issuers in Canada are PolicyMe, SunLife Go and Canada Protection Plan. Just make sure to do research and compare multiple providers before you apply.  

Can I apply for life insurance while I’m pregnant?

Some providers will tell you otherwise but it is possible to get affordable life insurance while you’re pregnant. That said, it isn’t always a great idea to apply after you’ve gotten pregnant, because your chances of developing health conditions such as gestational diabetes before birth or postpartum depression increases during and after pregnancy. This could lead to higher premiums.

Is life insurance for women cheaper?

Generally speaking, yes, life insurance for women is cheaper. Since men tend to have shorter lifespans and riskier habits, their life insurance premiums are often higher.
Bryan Daly avatar on Loans Canada
Bryan Daly

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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