The FINANCIAL -- By 2030, the insurance industry is expected to earn up to $1.7 trillion from women alone—half of it in just 10 emerging economies, presenting a significant business opportunity for sustainable and inclusive growth, according to a new report released on September 17 by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
The report, titled SheforShield: Insure Women To Better Protect All was co-developed by IFC, the AXA Group, and Accenture. It presents a first-of-its-kind study of the women’s insurance market in the emerging economies of Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Thailand, and Turkey. It finds that the insurance industry has largely overlooked women as a key customer segment—despite significant growth potential in the market. By more effectively reaching out to women, the industry could significantly increase their participation in the economy and further support social and economic development in emerging markets.
Exploring the impact of the women’s market on both the demand for and supply of insurance, the report also highlights the contribution women can make as agents, as marketing and sales leaders, and as professionals who would expand coverage to clients in emerging markets.
“At IFC, we believe strongly in leveraging the opportunities that women present as a force for development—as customers, employees, leaders, and entrepreneurs,” said IFC CEO Jin-Yong Cai. “We are confident that the findings of this report can help plant the seeds for a thriving women-focused insurance market—enabling women to better protect themselves, their families, communities and societies.”
The report is based on a series of in-depth interviews with industry representatives and associations, brokers, agents, customers, and regulators in the 10 markets, desk research and econometric modeling. It shows how women’s increased income, improved socioeconomic status, and greater need for protection create a significant opportunity for insurers. It also describes how women’s preferences differ by country, income and lifecycle events, requiring insurers to tailor products and services.
As a next step, the report recommends gathering more and better data on the topic, including how to customize products, services, marketing and distribution to better reach the women’s market; leverage the power of mobile technology; and create innovative partnerships to educate customers more widely on their insurance options.
"The rising share of women with tertiary education degrees, of women who work, who own or run businesses, of women who earn growing levels of income is leading to a changing and expanding landscape of protection needs," added Denis Duverne, Deputy CEO of the AXA Group. “We are convinced that the findings outlined in the report will be a key building block towards more concrete initiatives to better cater to women’s evolving needs—serving half of humanity to better protect the whole."
“By expanding the role of women in the salesforce with proper training and providing a structure that enables them to sell effectively, insurers can foster economic growth while helping improve the lives of women around the world, and at the same time open up new avenues for profitable growth,” said Thomas Meyer, managing director in Accenture’s insurance practice.