Roundtable on Insurance for Women: Specific Needs and Inclusion
The Roundtable on “Insurance for Women: Specific Needs and Inclusion”, jointly organised by the Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nación (SSN) and the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii), with the support of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), was held on 12 June 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Effective and adequate insurance can empower women by boosting women’s abilities to mitigate risks and manage crises effectively. It has positive impacts on their job productivity, their assets and their health. Insurance helps avoid dependence on traditional risk management mechanisms – such as selling off assets, informal loans or taking their children out of school – when an unexpected event such as a natural disaster or disease strikes, and causes losses. As women are more likely to work in informal jobs, insurance can play a key role in stabilising and increasing their incomes, which can help with the transition out of poverty.
However, policymaking and industry decisions on insurance provision are not gender neutral. Women and men have the potential to be differentially impacted by financial sector policies and by regulatory and supervisory approaches to insurance. Despite progress in financial inclusion and improvements in financial service usage during the past few years among both men and women, the gender gap still remains. The most recent data shows a persistent gender gap of 7% worldwide in accounts in financial institutions, rising to 11% in low-income countries. There is currently minimal data on the gender gap in insurance, but it is unlikely to fare any better than other forms of financial services.