How do insurance companies protect low-income women from risks?

Despite the support that societies provide to women in order to protect them against any dangers, which could hinder their role in the development of society as it is the main pillar for building any present or future, the umbrella of protection that must be available to them is still in its infancy, as women represent 70% of the population. The low-income and poor in the world, which makes them more vulnerable to health and financial risks. Despite the need for insurance protection to confront these risks, there is still a lack of awareness in addition to the lack of data on those with limited income, which has led to the insurance sector continuing to serve this sector less than it should. It is expected that the percentage of premiums paid in the women’s insurance market will increase by up to twice its current size, from $1.45 trillion to $1.7 trillion in 2030. There are currently large gaps in meeting women’s needs, including, for example, providing full, affordable insurance coverage. It is tangible and provides peace of mind.

According to a study by the Egyptian Insurance Federation, insurance companies must go beyond traditional micro-insurance coverage and design insurance products such as micro-pension plans, simple hospitalization products, multi-risk products, family coverage, and life insurance with the advantage of preserving the purchasing value, Cash-Value Option, and others. Additional coverage and benefits that are based on the extent of the risks to which women may be exposed. Insurance companies can create basic insurance products at a low cost and designed specifically for low-income women and their families, which will attract and retain them as loyal customers.

There is no doubt that microinsurance has proven particularly important for women with limited income, covering gender-related risks such as “mother’s health” and “loss of income due to stopping work to care for a family member,” but women still need more insurance coverage (protection). It is also likely that low-income women will bear the burden of providing income for their family on their own. Therefore, providing micro-insurance coverage for the head of the family or the female breadwinner prevents financial shocks that the family may be exposed to, and insurance companies can benefit from women’s behavior in the field of saving by offering insurance products related to saving. This enables long-term savings and pension plans to reach a wider group of women, not just entrepreneurs who are usually targeted by financing products.

Helping women support their families
Women from all segments give priority to educating their children, and this is especially evident among low-income women, as they recognize the importance of education in helping their children overcome their financial situation. The majority of low-income borrowers are women, and many insurance offerings linked to loans do not provide coverage for the family and spouse, but only the life of the borrower. Therefore, insurance companies can create products that cover the entire family, extending beyond the term of the loan.

Women’s health needs
The woman has special health needs such as pregnancy, ovarian and cervical cancer, etc., and insurance companies can cover the costs of her treatment. Moreover, health care costs place great pressure on poor families and are the most common reason for the depletion of women’s savings and assets.

Retirement pensions
Low-income women do not have access to pension and pension systems, as they tend to work in the informal sector. Women are also more likely to live longer than their husbands. Women are often able to save small amounts of money, but they often lack the means to increase the size of these savings enough to support them in old age, and offer pension or savings products that allow small and flexible repayment options, and annuity options can To help increase retirement funding.

Streamline claim and document drafting processes
Levels of financial literacy are often low among low-income women. Complex or lengthy requests or the many papers required to settle an insurance claim, in addition to the many procedures, increase mistrust in insurance and reduce the demand for purchasing or renewing insurance policies. The documents should be formulated in a common and understandable language, as well as making the distribution and service delivery mechanisms simple and easy to understand, while noting the restrictions that limit accessibility to the sector and culture of customers from this segment.

Women borrowers
Also, the percentage of women borrowers out of the total number of borrowers in Egypt is a large percentage. They will all be compulsorily insured in accordance with the decision of the Financial Regulatory Authority to provide compulsory microinsurance for all microfinance clients. Therefore, insurance companies should not stop at this point, but rather they should start. Thinking about launching additional new products designed primarily for women.

For its part, the Egyptian Insurance Federation called on industrial federations, chambers of commerce, investor associations, and other parties interested in empowering women to join efforts in order to establish the appropriate mechanism for the use of insurance products designed specifically for women, and to raise awareness in the fields of work about the extent to which these products can serve women and help them overcome obstacles. The problems they face, whether in the field of establishing their own business or in assuming leadership positions. The Egyptian insurance sector must also contribute to projects of interest to women, by holding more meetings and discussions with other sectors, in order to reach points of agreement regarding the cooperation mechanism in Areas of sustainable development and women’s empowerment.

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