Men are more likely to purchase critical illness policies before the age of 45 than women, according to the 2011 Critical Illness Insurance Buyer Study conducted by the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance (AACII), Los Angeles, and Gen Re, Stamford, Conn.
Fifty-four percent of men purchasing critical illness policies last year were younger than 45 compared with 49 percent of women who bought policies in 2010. Researchers analyzed data for over 20,500 purchasers of individual critical illness insurance policies made between January 1 and December 31, 2010.
According to the survey, 21 percent of male buyers and 19 percent of female buyers were between the ages of 25 and 34. Women tended to buy this protection at slightly older ages. The age band 55-or older had the widest spread, with some 18 percent of male and 22 percent of female buyers.
Critical illness insurance pays a tax-free, lump-sum cash benefit generally upon diagnosis of a covered critical illness such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. The first policies became available in the United States in 1996 and today some 900,000 individuals have such protection, according to the AACII and Gen Re.