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13 million women putting their families at financial risk

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Millions of British women have no financial safety net in place should they fall ill, die or lose their job, a survey reveals.

Some 51% of women have no form of financial protection, equating to 13 million people, according to research by Aegon.

This is despite 28% of women admitting they worry what would happen to them or their family if they became too ill to work or died. And 46% believe it’s solely their responsibility to make sure their family has enough income should the unexpected happen to them.

Cost is seen as the main barrier to women better protecting themselves and their families. Nearly half of women said protection was too expensive, a fifth didn’t see it as a priority and one in five thought it was a waste of money.

But Aegon said a 35-year-old non-smoking female could get a policy for as little as £7 a month.

If the worst happens, 38% of women without protection would rely on their savings if they couldn’t work, the survey found. However, 16% have no savings at all, a further 16% have savings that would last only six months, and just 13% thought their nest egg would support them for a year.

As well as turning to savings, 35% of women would rely on their partner’s income to manage financially. But 49% of women rely on two household incomes to meet their day-to-day costs and essentials.

Stephen Crosbie, protection director at Aegon, said: “Protection is there to replace an individual’s income when unexpected events occur: in the worst case scenario this covers death, but it can also support when people are struck by serious illness. It’s an important safety net that can help meet a family’s monthly expenses, ranging from mortgage payments to the supermarket shopping.

“However, the reality is far too many women in the UK are putting themselves and their families at risk by not taking steps to protect themselves, despite the pressure they feel to provide for and support their children.”

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