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Zurich research reveals financial literacy gender gap

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There is a significant gender gap around knowledge of life insurance and possession of policies, according to Zurich.

The insurer’s study of the labour market reveals a much smaller proportion of women have taken out one type of insurance when compared with men – 31% and 47% respectively.

About 20% of women and 31% of men own term life policies, while 21% of women and 34% of men own income protection.

Overall, 39% of Australians own either life or income protection, or both. Life policy ownership is highest among people aged in their 30s and 40s.

About 34% of men are familiar with term life insurance, compared with 22% of women, while 30% of women have good self-reported knowledge of income protection, compared with 41% of men.

The study forms part of a three-year research program with Oxford University to examine how more workers can be provided flexible protection in a fragmenting labour market.

Insurance product design does not match new patterns of work and retirement, Zurich’s study report says.

Agile protection is needed, with flexible insurance and associated worker protection tailored to individual career trajectories, addressing different transition points in a worker’s life.