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'Lazy' male shoppers pay over the odds for life cover

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Men are getting a significantly worse deal on life insurance than women because they fail to shop around for the cheapest rates, new research suggests.

Man shopping

Life insurance premiums for men are on average 26% higher than for women, findings from Confused.com show.

This is when other factors such as age and medical history are taken into account.

But the study found that almost one in three men do not compare a range of quotes when choosing a life insurance policy – thus increasing the chances of paying over the odds.

Failure to shop around

Buying life insurance is not the only area in which men appear to be lagging behind women.

Confused.com’s study also found that women were much more likely to take their time over a wide range of purchases.

For example, four in 10 women start shopping for Christmas presents up to a year in advance, while 20% of men leave their purchases until the last possible week.

And half of men take an hour or less to buy an outfit, while the vast majority of women take up to five hours.

And three-quarters of men buy clothes without trying them on first compared to a quarter of women.

Savvy female shoppers

Matthew Lloyd, head of life insurance at Confused.com, said: "Men complain that women take too long shopping.

"But men need to learn from women if they want to get the best deals - on life insurance, but also day-to-day items too."

Lloyd said that while the research showed men would spend more time on purchases such as cars and TVs, they seemed to view life insurance as a much lower priority.

"Life insurance is about allowing your family to maintain their lifestyle if you were no longer around.

"And shopping with a price comparison site means you can compare prices from major providers in one place, allowing you to find a good deal," he added.

Money-saving shopping expert Penny Golightly has put together these top ten shopping tips for men to help them get the best deals on life insurance and other purchases.

Gender differences

Failure to shop around is not the only reason men end up paying more than women for life cover.

As women’s life expectancy is longer on average, they can expect to be charged less for life insurance on the basis that they are less likely to make a claim.

Bear in mind than many life insurance policies only pay out if the holder dies within a pre-agreed period, such as 20 or 25 years.

With this type of cover, women are less likely to make a claim, even though they are as likely as men to die at some point.

European changes looming

However, a change in European law is due to come into effect on 21 December this year which will force insurers to end the practice of charging men and women different rates for all types of insurance based on their gender.

Many analysts believe this will lead to a rise in women’s life insurance prices, and possibly to a small fall in the cost of cover for men.

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