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Businesswomen missing expert advice: Vero

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Female SME decision-makers are less likely than their male counterparts to seek expert insurance advice, but worry more across a range of issues.

A Vero New Zealand survey shows 54% of women use a broker to buy most of their insurance, compared with 71% for men, while 13% have not thought of using a broker, compared with 2% of men.

“We need to find a way to connect women to the expert advice out there, because we know when they do this they get so much value from it,” Customer Experience EM Catherine Bateman said.

Women in New Zealand are more likely to run businesses with 2-19 employees, while men are more likely to be sole traders. Female SME leaders are also typically younger, with 63% aged below 50, compared with 39% of men.

The gender findings feature in the last of three issues of this year’s Vero New Zealand SME Insurance Index, based on a survey conducted by BrandMatters.

SMEs in New Zealand were asked what worries them most and the challenges they face, with women generally expressing greater concern across a wide range of topics.

About 39% of female respondents are concerned about a business owner or key employee taking time off due to illness or injury, compared with 16% of men.

Ten-point gaps apply for concerns over workplace accidents and employee safety, and adverse regulatory or legislative changes.

Challenges in time management are generally similar, but 26% of women are concerned about having enough time for themselves and their family, compared with 19% of men.

Women who use brokers have greater appreciation for the value they add, with 56% saying their broker provides expert advice, compared with 43% for men, while 53% trust their broker to get the right cover at the right price, compared with 26% of men.

“When women want something done, I think the natural response for many is to just do it,” Ms Bateman said. “But using the services of an insurance broker is one aspect of their business where female SMEs could save themselves time and create more peace of mind.”