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Does Your Insurance Broker Treat Women With Respect?

Does your life insurance broker have a bad attitude about women? When I say bad attitude, I mean patronizing, belittling, or otherwise treating them as secondary players in family decision-making. Unfortunately, it is highly possible he does, given the history of the life insurance business. But that is slowly changing. Has it changed enough for you?

A generation back, life insurance salesmen were pretty much members of an old boys club. You know the crowd: a bunch of construction workers with ties. Selling was directed at the man of the house, since he typically controlled the finances.

In my generation, the industry became much more professional. The insurance office became a more suitable place for women. Women salespeople reached out to women consumers to empower them. If the wife was going to be the beneficiary of the policy, she had to make sure the coverage would be sufficient.

Today, opportunities abound for women to get involved in life insurance sales, as well as other financial service professions. Workplace marketing, distribution through banks and other institutions, and web marketing all have made room for women to establish careers. This corresponds to women becoming more prominent as financial decision-makers in society at large. Many are single heads of household, and single parents. Many participate in egalitarian marriages. Many have simply taken charge of their finances because they have the training and skills to do so.

One would think that in today’s climate, women would have achieved a certain parity with men when it comes to treatment as financial consumers. In a lot of cases this is true, but in a lot of cases this is not true. A lot of studies have been conducted to explain this, but the short answer to me is that men can be dumb and thick-headed. We all know that real men don’t have to belittle women to feel good about themselves. Hopefully that idea will catch on more.

In the meantime, women must at times deal with a male financial advisor who cops a bad attitude. Financial writer Amy Fontinelle he has a superb article in Investopedia that shows women how to do this. Her solutions include:

Problem 1: Some advisors patronize female clients. Solution: interview potential advisors carefully.

Problem 2: The advisor only communicates with the woman’s husband. Solution: work with an advisor who addresses both partners as equals.

Problem 3: Advisors treat single women as if they are clueless. Solution: work with an advisor who will empower you.

Please read her article. How how it has helped you deal with your own particular issues?