Survey Says: Women Worry More than Men

Some people may believe that women and men are wired differently. While that is false in some cases, a recent survey by Travelers Insurance puts hard numbers next to one of the most common differences between men and women: aversion to risk.

Here are three highlights from the 2016 Travelers Risk Index that illustrate those differences, and thoughts about how to avoid them.

Personal safety first. While nearly 60 percent of all Americans say they worry some or a great deal about their personal safety, the number jumps to 64 percent for women compared to just 54 percent for men. Specific threats mentioned include home invasions, terrorism and car accidents.

Texting Can Wait. One of the main causes of car accidents is distracted driving and the statistics show that it’s getting worse, not better. While this is a crises that both genders should be paying attention to, the Travelers Risk Index shows women are more worried about it than men, 61 percent to 55 percent.

Cyber (in)security. More than two thirds of all women worry some or a great deal about cyber risks, compared to 56 percent for men. And don’t assume those new chip cards will eliminate fraud. Chips do not prevent cards from being stolen, scanned or used online.

Prevention steps also vary by gender. The index indicates that while they often worry more, women also take more precautions than men to avoid risk. When asked how confident they were that their family was properly insured against risks relating to driving, for instance, 52 percent of women were very confident that were covered compared to 47 percent for men.

But gender isn’t the only factor in determining risk perceptions. The Index shows that some results are also fragmented by income, age, education, and geography. For example, despite Millennials spending more time online and on their mobile devices, they are less concerned about cyber crime than older respondents. Similarly, older Americans worry more about the changing workforce than Millennials.

Steps to reduce risk. The main takeaway is that EVERYONE worries. But some of the risks people worry about can be mitigated with simple preventative measures. For instance: is that text really worth it? Put your phone in the trunk before starting the car and you will eliminate one major cause of distracted driving. Safeguard that credit card by maintaining strong passwords and changing them often. And call your insurance agent or carrier to check your insurance regularly. They can advise you on ways to keep yourself and your property safe. Give yourself one or two fewer things to worry about in today’s frantic world.

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