Left or right handed - why it matters to life insurance companies

Occasionally, life insurance companies will ask prospective clients if they are left or right handed. This quirky question is generally irrelevant but there are still a handful of companies that continue to ask it.

Why? What’s the difference between left and right handed people that so intrigues life insurers?

Research done in the 1990s showed that significantly more left-handers than right-handers died in workplace accidents, hence the interest by life insurance companies. Further research also found that, on average, left-handers were likely to live for nine years less than right-handers.

These findings triggered a call for studies to be done into the health problems facing left-handed people at work.

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The key problem is that a lot of work equipment is designed by right-handed designers for right-hand users, forcing left-handed workers to make damaging, unnatural and awkward movements. Added susceptibility to repetitive strain injury (RSI) results.

This design glitch, it is said, slows down the ability of left-handers to use equipment and tools, as their brains struggle to learn “the other way round”.

Scissors, chainsaws, secateurs and knives are just some of the tools lefties struggle with. Fortunately, there are now left-handed design products of every kind being manufactured and sold in specialist ‘molyduker’ shops.

Employers are being urged to play their part by supplying tools and equipment that will not injure left-handed workers, who are often the most creative workers.

Whether you’re left-handed, right-handed or ambidextrous doesn’t affect your life insurance cover in any way, shape or form. It’s simply information some insurers like to collect.

With roughly 10% of the world’s population being left-handed, including Barack Obama, it’s a fact of life that “southpaws” are here to stay.

Other famous lefties include Marilyn Monroe, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Ringo Starr, Charlie Chaplin, Jimi Hendrix, John McEnroe, and Jack the Ripper.

If you’re yet to investigate life insurance options, we offer an obligation-free service to put you in touch with a licensed life insurance adviser that services your local.

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