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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Industry bosses join forces to tackle women’s underinsurance 

Senior executives across the insurance profession have created a committee to examine the risks faced by women.


A woman working while holding a baby © Shutterstock
Women are exposed to risks different from men's such as their role as working parents. © Shutterstock

The committee will lead the Insuring Women's Futures (IWF), a programme established by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) aimed at promoting and enhancing the sector’s role in relation to women and risk. 

The IWF recognises that currently women are less engaged with insurance protection products and services than men and as a consequence are under-protected.

The initiative will work on driving education and innovation to ensure insurance and financial planning products fully respond to the risks faced by both genders.

CII’s CEO and chair of the committee Sian Fisher said: "Women represent just over half of the UK population, and yet their access to and use of, insurance and financial protection is limited when compared to their male counterparts. 

“This is at a time when in today's society, women are exposed to an array of risks distinct from men, including different health risks, increased life expectancy and in their role as carers and working parents – essentially, we need to reinvent insurance for women.”

Fisher claims underinsurance in women is a “risk for society”, adding: “We are keen to fully engage our male as well as female colleagues in tackling it.” 

Inga Beale, CEO at Lloyd's, will act as patron of the committee. 

Other members of the committee include:

Barbara Merry, chair of iWIN,

Barbara Schönhofer, CEO at Schönhofer

Denis Duverne, chairman of board of directors at Axa

Jane Portas, partner at PwC (effective 12 September 2016)

John O'Roarke, chairman at Horwich Farrelly