A few weeks ago, Accenture, the International Finance Corporation and AXA introduced a new study on women in the global economy and the role insurance can play in their lives. “SheforShield:  Insure Women to Better Protect All” is an in-depth look at the growing role of women, particularly in the developing world, and the opportunities for insurers to serve their needs.

Women are a growing powerhouse in global purchasing and entrepreneurism. Their insurance needs are estimated to grow the global insurance industry’s premium value to as much as $1.452 trillion by 2030. Much of this growth is expected in developing countries. The study takes a close look at the insurance needs of women in 10 countries: China, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, India, Columbia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, and Morocco.

By 2030, the annual premium value of the women's global insurance market is predicted to grow to twice the size of the 2013 market.
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But although the “women’s market” may be huge, it is anything but homogeneous. Women’s needs and preferences differ in several ways–by socioeconomic bracket, dependents, and income status–and by lifecycle event.

The study identifies five or six “tipping points” during a woman’s life at which she makes a significant amount of insurance-related decisions. These are:

  • Entering the workforce
  • Buying a house/car
  • Marriage
  • Having children
  • Divorce/widowhood
  • Retirement

Because they play multifaceted roles in their homes and beyond, women have little time to think about their insurance needs. This means insurers must plan strategic ways to reach them at different segments and points in their lifecycles.

For example, more than 50 percent of the women interviewed for SheforShield identified wrap-around services–services to help them save time in recovering from a loss–as a key insurance purchasing factor; and 76 percent said personalized services was an important criterion in deciding on an insurance provider.

Understanding women’s different insurance needs is essential for insurers that want to reach them in the most effective ways. The study recommends that insurers build intelligence on women’s specific insurance needs, and develop targeted value propositions for each economic segment.

Next week I’ll take a look at how digital distribution channels play a critical role in getting information and products to women in the ways they prefer to receive them.

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