Wk10 // The Gender Gap in Coverage
Wk10 // The Gender Gap in Coverage
March 5, 2024

If women make the majority of the decisions around estate planning and around the home, why are men typically the primary named insured?


Women have lower rates than men for their homeowners, auto, life, and in some states health as well.  Women typically are the decision maker on family and altruistic affairs (this is not only for donation but estate planning for transition of wealth). Women make up 61% of the workforce in the insurance world, 14% higher than the national average.  


Here are the big “buts” though.  


Men are typically the first named insured and therefore are the ones frequently contacted for insurance.  


Women only make up 18% of the C-suite of insurance companies, and although data on sales positions are murky because reporting on independent brokers is tough, signs point them to being a minority.  


Although most mothers/wives report estate planning and life insurance as a priority and usually are the ones to push the conversation on the men in their life there is a gender gap in coverage.  

It’s not like there’s nothing to protect as women are a growing piece of the workforce year after year (barring weird covid data), women are increasingly starting businesses, are a growing percentage of the C-suite, although that’s lagging, and perform the majority of the unpaid labor in a family.  Many point to increasing C-suite representation.  Although this is an objectively good thing, how many people make their insurance decisions based on who is the head of 1 company in a large marketplace?  Others point to marketing but the pink razor trope is a bit overplayed and ignores a central piece I think we are missing.  We need more women in sales and to train our sales force to recognize bias.  Is the male first named insured because he is the one making the decisions and fielding the calls or is it just because that’s our innate bias?  More women in sales not only means reps that can relate to an underserved demographic but it has a radiating effect of changing the behavior of those around them.  And this is a win across the board.  More salespeople get promoted into the C-suite than back office and an unbiased look at a family unit and education in effective communication means more sales for the company and less gaps in coverage for the consumer.  This is how we need to grow as an industry if we truly believe in people getting the coverage they need.