Female SME owners present challenges and opportunities for brokers

Female owners* of small and medium sized businesses differ in some ways to their male counterparts, which leads to challenges and opportunities for brokers, according to the latest Vero SME Insurance Index.

Written on 2 August, 2017
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Female owners* of small and medium sized businesses differ in some ways to their male counterparts, which leads to challenges and opportunities for brokers, according to the latest Vero SME Insurance Index.

More than 1500 small business owners – 45 per cent of them women – were surveyed nationally for the Index. A third tranche of results, released recently, focuses on the attitudes and behaviours of female SME owners towards insurance.

“Female SME owners are a significant contributor to the overall dynamism of the small business sector in Australia and it’s an important client segment market for  brokers,” said Vero’s Head of Commercial Intermediaries, Anthony Pagano.

“There are several important nuances between female and male SME decision makers. Understanding these will enable brokers to fine-tune their approach to providing the most appropriate and relevant range of services. The Index findings will help brokers understand the needs of female business owners better,” Pagano.

More females (79 per cent) than males (73 per cent) believe getting the right business insurance is important to them. They also want to be more involved in the process of buying insurance.

Consequently, female owners are less likely than their male counterparts to use brokers to buy their insurance. Approximately 29% of females use a broker (vs 33% for men) and a further 9% said that they use a mix of brokers and direct channels (vs 7% for men).

More female SME owners embrace online channels for obtaining further information on insurance and 68 per cent of women use the internet to research their insurance options – including price -, compared to 56 per cent of men.

“Brokers need to understand female owners want to have greater control in the insurance process and brokers need to adapt their relationship accordingly,” said Pagano.

“These owners want to be across the detail to understand the complexities of insurance and to be familiar with the options available to them.

“Female SME owners are more likely to value brokers for the peace of mind they deliver and this needs to be the key message they take away from any interaction they have with their broker.”

*In some cases, the women surveyed were the decision makers within the business rather than direct owners.