For the last two weeks we’ve been examining the “SheforShield” study produced by Accenture, the International Finance Corporation and AXA, and how the insurance industry can best serve the needs of the growing global market of women.

Women in the developing world have a huge need for income protection. Our study shows that by 2030, the size of the women’s market size in some of the ten focus countries could grow as much as 16 times current levels.

2013 Women's Insurance Market Size i the 10 Focus Markets (USD)
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One of the key elements of reaching this market is clearly seen in the example of microinsurance—that is, insurers partnering with other entities to best deliver products and services to women in the developing world.

Partnerships with governments, non-governmental organizations, women’s associations, and other private-sector players are powerful ways in which insurers can expand access to their wares. In particular, considering how women lack time and look for ways to save it, they often value buying things together thanks to “transitive trust”—the thinking that if one brand or provider trusts another enough to partner with it, so will the client.

Insurers and governments can collaborate to improve insurance education for and distribution to women, with partnerships depending on the relationship between government and insurance in each market. Initially, insurers and government can join forces to recognize and identify the constraints women face and the shared interest in providing joint solutions to critical issues before discussing potential solutions.

Partnerships with schools and other reputable non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can also help insurance increase awareness among women, especially those in the lower-income segment.

Finally, partnerships with other service providers in complementary industries that service or employ a large female population can open up a new customer base for insurers.

For example, several insurers in Indonesia have developed a novel approach to educating women about insurance through a combination of medical professionals and the “arisan” club—a woman’s savings and social club. Working with doctors, midwives and nurses, insurers organize events with arisan clubs where medical professionals help women understand health risks. Insurers follow this up with a discussion of the products available to help the women manage these risks.

In another instance, Zurich Seguros in Mexico has partnered with cosmetics company Avon to create an incentive plan to provide health, medical and accident benefits to Avon’s safe force of primarily women representatives. Representatives who reach a certain level of sales can opt in to a corresponding tier of insurance coverage at no cost to them.

These types of creative partnerships are a major departure from ways in which insurers reached markets in the past. But mobile technology and creative thinking are enabling foresighted insurers to reach previously underserved markets in places where insurance is needed most.

How do you think your company will reach the growing global women’s market? Please feel free to write and share your ideas!

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