Disability Insurance and Women: Jamie Fleischner Featured In ASJ Online Magazine

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Our president, Jamie K. Fleischner, CLU, ChFC will be featured in the upcoming issue of Agent Sales Journal. She will be discussing the role of disability insurance in women. The article contains some important and interesting statistics. To read the article, go to http://www.asjonline.com/Issues/2010/6/Pages/Women-An.aspx.

Here is an excerpt of the article:

Women are 3 times as likely as men to become disabled
Because women are more likely to become disabled, premiums are approximately 40 percent as expensive for women as they are for men. Actuarially, females need the insurance more than men since they are more likely to have a claim. You are doing women a service, then, by explaining this particular vulnerability and helping them cover the need. A corollary is that the higher premium leads to higher commissions for the agent.

Women have not been as affected by the current recession
When it comes to disability insurance, you need to find prospects who are gainfully employed in order to qualify for coverage. During this most recent “Great Recession,” a significant number of high-income earners lost their jobs — but women appear to be weathering the storm better than their male counterparts.

This recession has been titled a “Mancession,” since men have lost jobs at more than three times the rate of women. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the economic crisis is sweeping away men’s jobs in the United States at a faster rate than those of women’s. New unemployment figures reveal that the biggest difference in jobless rates for more than half a century has been between men and women. The shifting pattern is redefining gender roles and challenging the status of men as the family breadwinners.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of women in the work force is growing twice as fast as the number of men. On average, women contribute 30 to 40 percent of all household income, and this rate is increasing. If women continue to be underserved by the disability industry, this could spell devastation each time a working woman becomes disabled, resulting in the loss of her income to the household.

Many women work part time or have their own small business
Most small businesses do not carry group disability insurance. Instead, the business owners and employees must purchase their own coverage, which means women may not have the same level of employee benefits as men. Between 1997 and 2006, businesses that were completely or mostly owned by women grew at nearly twice the rate of all U.S. firms (42.3 percent versus 23.3 percent). During this same time period, employment among female-owned firms grew 0.4 percent, and annual sales grew 4.4 percent.

In 2006, reports on female-owned (or majority-owned) businesses in the United States returned the following impressive statistics:

  • There were an estimated 10.4 million privately held firms
  • This accounted for two in five (40.2 percent) businesses in the country
  • These firms generated $1.9 trillion in annual sales and employed 12.8 million people nationwide

Women tend to be the family decision-makers
According to a recent AARP study, about 90 percent of women report that they are either the primary financial decision-maker or equally share in the decision. About two-thirds also say that they manage their money entirely on their own. When selling insurance, it always expedites the process if you are dealing with the decision-maker.

Women significantly outnumber men in college enrollment
Women have represented about 57 percent of enrollments at American colleges since at least 2000, according to a recent report by the American Council on Education. Researchers there cite several reasons: Women tend to have higher grades; men tend to drop out in disproportionate numbers; and female enrollment skews higher among older students, low-income students, and black and Hispanic students.

As a trend, more women are going to college, landing high-income jobs, and surviving the adverse employment environment of the recession. These women make up an increasing proportion of the future business leaders and professionals in our country. They will want and need to protect their income with disability insurance — and when you turn your prospecting efforts to female workers and business owners, you’ll see how you can help them protect against a very real threat to their income.

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