Women & Insurance: The Perfect Combination, Part 1

Alli Walsh, Social Media Strategist

Women & Insurance: The Perfect Combination, Part 1

Women’s History Month honors the contributions of women to history and to contemporary society.

To honor the month in our own way, we are taking a look at women and insurance. Whether they’re making healthcare decisions for the family, purchasing insurance coverage or selling policies to customers in the community, women make up a significant portion of the insurance marketplace.

Part One of the series examines women as insurance consumers and Part Two explores the role of women as insurance professionals.

Women as insurance consumers

In 2015, females made up 50.4% of the US population1. That’s hardly a “niche” market!

While each person is an individual with different needs and habits, it can be helpful to look at statistics that both challenge assumptions and help put gender differences into context:

  • Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing2
  • Women utilize more health care than men and make approximately 80% of health care decisions for their families3
  • 80% of women understand health insurance somewhat or very well, yet are less confident today than they were 10 years ago (27% vs. 19%) that they will be able to secure long-term health or nursing home care for retirement4

An Ameriprise Financial study found that when it comes to solving financial challenges, 64% of Boomer women, 51% of Gen X women, and 60% of Millennial women seek financial advice5. This suggests that life stage and age make a difference in the likelihood that a woman will actively consult with an insurance advisor while making coverage decisions that can impact financial wellness. It might also signal a terrific opportunity for a sales agent to ask female clients if they could benefit from their services; statistically speaking, about half of them will welcome the assistance.

On the whole, women, like their male counterparts, have a varying degree of “room” in their budgets to afford coverage and have unique outlooks on their financial prospects. While assessing her family’s or her own personal supplemental insurance coverage needs, a woman may need more or less education on what types of plans are available or more or less personal support while making decisions.

Again, consider the individuality of each consumer, but keep in mind her life stage to get a feel for her priorities: whether or not she’s focused on building a career, supporting a family (growing kids and/or aging parents), planning for retirement, or just getting started in the workforce. It all makes a difference to how and why she buys insurance.

1 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL.FE.ZS?locations=US
2 https://www.forbes.com/sites/bridgetbrennan/2015/01/21/top-10-things-everyone-should-know-about-women-consumers/#565f85776a8b
3 http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fshlth5.html
4 http://www.prudential.com/media/managed/wm/media/Pru_Women_Study_2014.pdf
5 http://newsroom.ameriprise.com/images/20018/WomenandFinancialPower.pdf
6 http://www.iii.org/insuranceindustryblog/?p=4516

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