With the significant potential for growth in the women’s insurance market, how can insurers begin to target women and meet their diverse and evolving needs?
Women want recognition that their needs are different from men’s. For example, women’s multi-faceted roles in their homes and at work mean they are often time-constrained. As a result, women look for insurance products and services that will help them save time. In fact, 54 percent of women surveyed said they’d be willing to purchase insurance if it were available online.
Women’s financial services needs and preferences vary by age, income level and lifecycle events. Although both men and women experience similar life events, women are more likely to make key financial decisions related to these events.
An interview with a young couple in Beijing revealed that the woman only considered purchasing insurance when she had a child and when her parents needed long-term care, while her spouse purchased insurance based on the perceived additional value the insurance provided, regardless of life events. Women’s lifecycle events are therefore crucial opportunities for insurers and help women with their changing protection needs.
If they are to successfully target women, insurers must abandon the one-size-fits-all approach. More than three-quarters of women surveyed cited personalized services as an important criterion in deciding on an insurance provider. Personalized services need to take into account constraints facing women wanting to access insurance, including:
- Lack of trust in insurers.
- Unfamiliarity with some financial products.
- Being categorized only as wives and mothers.
- Limitations on making household decisions in some cultures and countries.
- Lack of products that will reduce the burden of managing the household and work life.
- Lack of targeted advice on how to manage retirement and savings.
Women entrepreneurs represent a growing sub-segment of commercial insurance lines as they look for financial solutions to expand their businesses and seek protection. It’s estimated that there are between eight and ten million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets with at least one women owner. These SMEs represent a significant opportunity for insurers, especially considering that fewer than a third of women entrepreneurs in key emerging countries have protection- or savings-oriented life insurance.
There is no “silver bullet” solution to meet the varying product, service and distribution needs of women across segments and geographies. Instead, insurers need to tailor their products and services to the characteristics of their individual markets, building intelligence on women’s insurance needs, developing targeted value propositions for women segments, and improving distribution and proximity to women customers.
To learn more, register to download the SheforShield: Insure Women to Better Protect All report.