Lagos — The insurance industry has largely overlooked women in Nigeria and other emerging economies as a consumer segment, despite their significant market growth potential, a study by the International Finance Corporation has revealed.
The study, “She for Shield: Insure Women to Better Protect All”, was co-developed by IFC, AXA Group and Accenture. It presents a first-of-its-kind study of the women’s insurance market in the emerging economies of Nigeria, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey.
IFC CEO, Jin-Yong Cai said: “By more effectively reaching out to women, the industry could significantly increase their economic participation and further support social and economic development in emerging markets.”
According to the report, the insurance industry is expected to earn up to $1.7 trillion from women alone by 2030, presenting a major new opportunity for sustainable and inclusive growth.
Cai enthused, “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 modelling.
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, including how to customize products, services, marketing and distribution to better reach the women’s market, leveraging mobile technology and creating innovative partnerships to educate consumers on insurance options.
“Inheritance and property rights are often applied differently to men and women, especially in the developing world,” the landmark 2012 World Development Report noted. Insurance can help protect assets that women are able to accumulate.
She for Shield identifies two main drivers for growth in the 10 markets: improvements in women’s socioeconomic conditions, including increased participation in the workforce, enabling them to make spending decisions, and an increase in women’s willingness to invest in safety, protection, and security for themselves and their dependents, notably on insurance.