By Cynthia Alo
Experts in the insurance industry have called for greater participation of women in the sector in a bid to drive its growth in Africa.
This was the submission of experts that spoke during the second edition of the Insuretech Business Series webinar tagged: “Women in Insurance: Untapped Value for the African Industry.”
In their various submissions, they reiterated that women population in businesses and their roles in the family are relevant for insurance growth in Africa.
While speaking on the needs of women in insurance, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Penkrutst Insurance Brokers, Mrs. Bimbo Onokomaiye, posited that women represent an entry point into the family and as such remains major drivers of the insurance sector.
According to her, women are the major marketing opportunities for insurance sector growth in Africa.
She said: “As an intermediary in the industry what I can say is that it takes a woman to identify with the needs of other women due to the women’s traditional role of acting as condolences in their families and communities, they represent a significant entry point into the family wallet.
“Therefore they are major marketing opportunities for insurance. But before you can provide the needs of a person you must first of all find out what this person is, how does this person perform, what does the female want and what is the female customer profile.
“As brokers, we realised that women want affordable and valuable products so that they can stretch the family purse better.
“They focus on the family needs, they rely on their families, neighbours, friends for financial advice. They worry about their children, escorting the children where they can be financially independent.
“Many of them have limited understanding of technology understanding, many of us live in rural areas, many of us are not even financially literate or tech savvy. How has a broker met their needs?
“To attract many of these women in the industry, we brokers try to encourage insurers who will bear the risk to look beyond micro insurance products like agric-index and create insurance products which will serve the actual need of the females.
“You have to be able to create the products that will attend to their health, disabilities, all the accidents related issues, death of the bread winner, as well as divorce situations,” Onokomaiye said.
On her part, Chief Client Officer at Axa Mansard, Rashidat Adebisi noted that women are really the shield of their respective families and the society, adding: “Whether they have kids or not they always care and many times because they care so much, they sometimes do not care about themselves. And more importantly is the segmentation of women around whether they were career women, entrepreneurs or low income earners.
“Women have concerns, challenges. Are we meeting up to the fact that women are not really covered, we are not even covering the people in Nigeria not to talk of women.
“There is a big divide in our provision of policies and the expectations of clients and how we are serving them. It is even worse for women, when they look at their portfolios in some companies.
“For us at Axa Mansard, women contributed 20 percent of our portfolio when the report was done in 2017 but at this point we have different activities, we have improved but we are not there yet.”
Speaking on women participation in the insurance sector, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Nigeria, Mrs. Adeolu Adewunmi, said it became imperative for women to be well educated, since they play a huge role in the decision making on finances in the family.