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Guide

Life insurance for women explained

We’ve answered the most popular queries about women’s life insurance policies. Find out more about why they’re important and tips on how to pick your level of cover.

What is life insurance for women?

Women’s life insurance is cover for women that pays out if the worst should happen, if you were to pass away your loved ones would benefit. This money could be used for funeral expenses, to help pay off a mortgage, or it could make up for lost earnings. It works in the same way it does for men.

Why do women need life insurance?

There are many reasons to take out life insurance as a female. Primarily it means your dependants would be financially protected if you passed away. Receiving a lump sum payout that could help cover living expenses.

If you work, your family may depend on your income and if that income disappeared, they might struggle. Life insurance for women could help ease the financial burden caused by a sudden loss of income.

If your partner is the main income earner, women’s life insurance is still worth considering. If you left a working partner and children behind, they would have to cover any extra costs. In certain circumstances, childcare support might be needed. Having life insurance would help pay for this.

The best life insurance for women can be tailored to your circumstances. Say you have children, you could choose a policy that would put the payout into a trust. Then you could decide how the money is used. For example, your children could be given a monthly payment until they turned 18 or you could set it up so the payment would clear your mortgage. They'd then be able to stay on in the family home.

What life insurance products are available to women?

Women’s life insurance plans are the same as those available to men. But, depending on your circumstances, you might choose a different type of cover.

  • Whole life insurance: This kind of plan that lasts your whole life. It will pay out whenever you pass away.

    It’s a good consideration for women who are working. And especially if you’re the main income earner.
  • Term life insurance: This kind of plan lasts for a set number of years. If you passed away during that time, your loved ones would receive a payout.

    This is a good women’s life insurance plan for those with young families. This is because you might just want cover until your children have grown up. Term insurance plan premiums often cost less.
  • Joint life insurance: This is a type of insurance available to anyone in a relationship. You pay the premiums for the plan together. If one of you passes away, the other one receives the payout. Overall, joint life insurance premiums cost less per person than individual plans.

    This might be the best life insurance plan for a woman in a long-term relationship, civil partnership or marriage.

Individual life insurance plans let you amend your beneficiaries over time. If you separate from a life partner, you’d be able to change the beneficiary so the money goes to your children or someone else.

How much life cover do women need?

Deciding how much life insurance you need as a woman depends on your circumstances and current financial situation. When applying for insurance, you’ll be asked to choose the amount of cover you want. The more cover you ask for, the higher your monthly premiums.

To work out how much cover you need, spend some time looking at your finances. This includes your debts (such as your mortgage). It also includes your average living costs. For example, food, bills, rent and children’s hobbies. You might also want to set aside money to cover funeral expenses. This is about £4,000 on average.

If you’re in a relationship, consider your partner’s income. If you were no longer around, how much money would they need to maintain their current standard of living?

If you have children, you might find it useful to calculate your yearly costs, then multiply this by the number of years till they turn 18. Doing this can be helpful when deciding on the level of cover you’d want for supporting them, until they can financially support themselves.

When should women invest in life insurance?

Women’s life insurance costs less the younger you are when you take it out. Younger people tend to be in better health and less susceptible to certain illnesses, so insurers charge less.

Having you first child may make you start to think about life insurance. This then gives you the peace of mind that they would have financial cover whatever happened.

If you are the primary source of income in your family, it’s also worth thinking about life insurance for women. This means your surviving partner could continue looking after the home and your children. They wouldn’t have to go out to work right away.

Does life insurance change once you have children?

Having children doesn’t change women’s life insurance plans. The premiums you pay depend on factors about you as an individual. Like where you live, your general health and your job. If you ask for more cover, you’ll pay a higher premium. Having children doesn’t affect how the insurer calculates your premium.

If you already have a plan, insurers won’t charge you higher premiums when you have children. You’ll keep paying the rate that was set when you began the plan.

But having children is a big life change and can mean you’ll probably want to leave more money behind for them if you passed away. So, most women take out more cover after having kids.

What you choose depends on your circumstances. Some women choose not to return to full-time work after becoming a mum so you might have a lower income. That means you might opt for different coverage down the line.

Relevant guides and articles 

  • Whole of life insurance guide

    Whole of life insurance guarantees a payout to your loved ones when you die. Find out how this cover can protect your family's financial security.

  • Life insurance beneficiaries guide

    What is a life insurance beneficiary? Find out everything you need to know about beneficiaries, putting life insurance into a trust, and more, in this guide.

  • Life insurance for parents guide

    Life insurance for parents includes a variety of plans that mean your children will be covered if you pass away. Read our guide for new parents.