Women's insurance gets cross-industry attention

Women's insurance gets cross-industry attention

The insurance profession is joining forces with academics, charities and regulators to develop greater understanding of women's risks. 

A nine person advisory panel is being formed as part of the Insuring Women’s Futures (IWF) initiative and will provide insight into IWF's research programme.

The panel includes representatives of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).

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IWF is a programme of change, led by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

Sian Fisher, chief executive at the CII and chair of the IWF committee, said the risks facing women were a risk for society too.

“Women face some very different risks from men and their resilience to financial and non-financial shocks is typically much lower than men’s," she said.

"We know that women are less engaged with insurance protection products and services than men and as a consequence are under-protected."

Ruth Whitehead, principal at Ruth Whitehead Associates, said she was delighted by the initiative as women often felt that a male dominated financial services industry does not cater for them.

"At least half of my clientele are women and younger women are less engaged with financial services because they do not think they can afford it," she said.

"Older women are less engaged with financial services because they cannot understand it and they think they will be patronised."

IWF will release a report highlighting the gap between men's and women’s exposure to risk and resilience to shocks, on Tuesday 13 December.

The members of the IWF Advisory Panel are as follows:

Later Life: Tom Wright CBE, Age UK,

Women’s Equality and Independence: Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society

Consumer Insights: Attricia Archer, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Protection and Personal Lines: Huw Evans, Association of British Insurers (ABI)

 Intermediary Protection & Personal Lines: Steve White, British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA)

Protection: Johnny Timpson, Income Protection Taskforce         

 Pensions and Long-term Saving: Michelle Cracknell, The Pensions Advisory Service

Education: Dr. Vanessa Pittard, Department for Education

Academic Protection Gap Analysis: Paula Jarzabkowski, Cass Business School

Diversity: Sarah Churchman, PwC