Does the insured's gender matter in a term insurance policy
Published On Apr 06, 2023, Updated On May 02, 2023
With the increase in medical illnesses and diseases, it has become essential to get a health insurance policy to protect yourself against the huge financial burden that diagnosis and treatment of an illness can create. There are a number of factors that determine what amount of premium you need to pay, depending upon how often you are allowing yourself to fall sick, meet accidents, or to being diagnosed with a critical illness. Premiums are determined individually for everyone because the insurance company would review your risk profile and medical history against the benchmarks that the company has made, and assess if a policy would just be a dead weight for them. These factors include many health-related parameters like Body Mass Index, tobacco and alcohol consumption, age, pre-existing medical conditions, and family medical history. The concerned authority is to find out if you are more susceptible to falling ill or getting diagnosed. For instance, people with a high BMI can suffer from, or develop, diabetes, sleep apnea, and heart and joint problems. So if you have a high BMI, you might be liable to pay a high amount of premium.
The determinants of the premium amount also include your profession, residence, and gender. Yes, as it happens, women usually pay higher premiums than men.
“Gender rating” is charging different amounts from different genders, especially a high amount of premium for women. Insurers work on risk-based pricing which assesses the policyholder for accident, morbidity, and mortality risks. Gender is another factor that influences these risks. This is because gender differences in medical conditions affect the likelihood of a person needing to bill that insurance policy. Thus, the premium tends to be higher for females at the age of childbearing as compared to men. However, it is lower for females than for males from the age of 60 and above.
Why the variations?
Women usually pay higher medical insurance premiums than men because, for one, women are more likely to go to the doctor for consultations, especially in their childbearing age, that is from 14-44. Women are also more likely to be diagnosed with long-term illnesses; about 20% of women of childbearing age experience heavy bleeding during menstruation, and 15% have long-term pelvic pain. Overall, 1 in 28 women is likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
Further, insurance companies often offer plans for women with additional benefits for maternity insurance and the like, which are likely to have higher insurance costs. Women being more prone to long-term ailments and being more likely to visit doctors at regular intervals, run up a higher medical healthcare bill in their lifetime when compared to men. This is why women pay a higher premium amount.
On the other hand, heart diseases become very common at an older age. Studies have shown that the proportion of deaths and disabilities from heart disease was significantly higher in men than in women. This explains why health insurance premiums are higher for men in older ages as compared to women.
A report by ASSOCHAM India in 2014, found that about 42 percent of working women were suffering from lifestyle diseases like backache, obesity, depression, diabetes, hypertension, and heart ailments. As more and more women enter the corporate sector, it becomes important that they are also able to access medical facilities on a regular basis, without it becoming a financial burden. Several companies have specific insurance policies for women. These plans specifically cover illnesses related to women like breast cancer, cervical cancer, fallopian tube cancer, etc. which is in addition to the standalone critical illness plan.