Three in five women have no protection cover

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Nearly three in five women (57%) have no protection cover whatsoever, despite 67% working to support their family, research has warned.

The What Really Matters Report from Aegon UK revealed how women aged 25 and over, and mothers of under 18 year olds in particular, do not have protection cover.

The research said around seven in 10 (71%) mothers view the financial security of their children as among the top priorities in their life.

However half (49%) have never discussed what would happen in the event of their death with their next of kin.

This is increasingly significant as 67% of women, and 72% of mothers work to support their families and are underestimating their financial importance to the family unit.

Aegon's research reveals that nearly three in five (57%) women aged 25 and over don't have any form of protection cover.

In the event of a serious illness or accident, almost one in three (28%) of working women would need to rely heavily on State support if they were unable to work for six months.

Aegon's research found that more than half (55%) did not know how much the State pays out, with one in four (25%) believing it was more than the current level of £87.55 a week for 28 weeks, while a further 30% admitted they just didn't know.

Against a woman's average annual income of £23,589 a mother would face an annual pre-tax shortfall of £21,137.50 if they were to rely on State support alone.

Two in five (40%) working women, or just over one in three mums (34%), claimed they'd rely on savings they were unable to work for six months.

However, nearly one in three (30%) mums with young children admitted having no savings.

Seven in 10 (70%) claim financially they wouldn't last six months were something to disrupt their regular income, and only 13% say they've enough money saved away to survive for more than a year.

Dougy Grant, protection director at Aegon UK, said: ""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."

He added that advisers have a crucial role to play in addressing the gap. 

Grant concluded: "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."

"As an industry we want to see more women and their families protected from the worst hands that life can deal, and know we have our part to play in making these options both easier to understand and affordable. Aegon's ambition is to get the UK ready for retirement. Being prepared for retirement is about more than saving - it's also about protecting what you have and planning for all eventualities."

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