By Zainab Iwayemi
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Jihan Abass, chief executive officer Kenya-based insurance technology firm, Lami Technologies, says there is a huge opportunity for insurers to step up income level by developing products that meet women’s needs.
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The 27-year-old founder and CEO said this during a virtual webinar by Gyre Limited, producers of Insurtech Business Series Podcast, in partnership with AXA Mansard, and tagged, “Women in Insurance: Untapped Value for the African Industry”.
Lamenting on the limited women coverage in the insurance industry, Jihan said women and SMEs are a huge segment that should be targeted as they can help create opportunities for insurers to make more money. “These people have over the years been underserved,” she said.
While engaging participants on her journey to becoming CEO at a tender age, the Kenyan insurtech expert pointed out that the key to excelling is in understanding oneself and the major problems around. “Insurance companies have had to sell the same products the same way over time. With technology, I realised that these products could be sold more flexibly,” she hinted.
Bimbo Onokomaiya, CEO, Bigtrust Insurance, highlighted the important roles of women in terms of meeting the financial need of the family while explaining her role as a broker in ensuring those women are not left out in the sales of insurance products. She, however, noted that to attract women, it is important to encourage women to go beyond micro insurance products to products that are simple, especially for women that don’t have a high level of income.
“Not much has been done by insurance industry to close the gender gap in the industry. There are still many unserved and underserved women today. The inclusiveness for women is still so low despite increasing education. In many parts of the world, when the breadwinner dies, it becomes a problem. We should be able to recognize these gaps and create opportunities out of them.
“We can create savings-linked insurance product for them because many of them are not in the corporate world. By virtue of this, they do not have some of these opportunities. It is the role of female brokers to identify some of these and help to ensure that in terms of education, health and other things, women are not left out.
On her part, Adeolu Adewumi-Zer, managing director and CEO, Allianz Nigeria, noted that some of the products essential for women are already available but that they need an additional push from partners and practitioners to consolidate the
In her words: “The products have been there, it’s just the focus and leadership that hasn’t been there. Innovation is very vital as well. That’s why it is important to support insurtech and partner with others so they can give us that innovative push”.
In the view of Marjorie Ngwenya, board member, Tangerine Life Insurance, both technical skill and soft skills are important for women to step up their levels. According to her, “the issue around women not being inclusive is internal rather than external. It is not easy to be in an environment where we feel we don’t belong,” she said
Rashidat Adebisi, chief client officer, AXA Mansard, also detailed the underlying role of women and how AXA Mansard is able to ensure the inclusiveness of women in terms of product designing and rethinking, as well as organisational structure. However, she highlighted adaptability and curiosity as major tool to help women unlearn old thing and learn new things.