By Chino S. Leyco
The Insular Life and the International Finance Corp. (IFC) have forged a partnership in reaching out to the untapped Filipinas who do not have life and health protection as well as financial solutions to expand their businesses.
The local insurer, the first and largest Filipino life insurance firm, in collaboration with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, launched last Tuesday a program called “InLife Sheroes” aiming to improve lives of one million Filipino women.
According to Insular Life, InLife Sheroes will provide risk mitigation solutions throughout their lifetime and educate them on financial management, health, and well-being.
An IFC report earlier estimated that women’s market opportunity for the insurance industry will reach $1.7 trillion by 2030 globally, 50 percent of which will come from emerging markets such as the Philippines.
IFC and Insular Life said they partnered in 2017 to expand women’s access to insurance in the Philippines.
With IFC’s support, Insular Life is now developing insurance solutions designed for women with specific coverage, bundling of products, and customized add-on services.
“As a Filipino financial institution that has been serving the Filipinos for 108 years, we are keen to contribute to the financial inclusion agenda for women in our country,” Nina D. Aguas, Insular Life executive chairman said.
“We will provide protection and risk mitigating solutions to women along with investment opportunities. Subsequently, this will help them survive a loss of income or an unforeseen event,” she added.
In the last one year, IFC and Insular Life have collaborated on data collection and holding workshops on gender sensitivity, among others.
The findings reveal a large number of women in Philippines lack knowledge of proper saving, investing, and risk protection. It is, therefore, essential to bridge the knowledge gap through financial literacy programs and address women’s limited access to business and social networks.
“There is both a clear business and social case for integrating gender and targeting women in inclusive insurance. To forgo this untapped market segment will be a lost opportunity to drive economic growth,” Henriette Kolb, IFC’s gender secretariat said.
“The InLife Sheroes program, through expanded financial protection, will help ensure economic well-being of women, thereby bolstering Philippines’ growth trajectory. We are pleased to support Insular Life in its efforts to strengthen every Filipina’s role in nation-building through solutions that increase their ability to cope with financial challenges and protect their assets,” she added.
The InLife Sheroes program is part of Insular Life’s broader strategy to empower Filipino women to achieve a better life.
Insular has also started implementing a gender sensitive distribution model, training both women and men advisors to have an increased awareness of their women customers’ specific needs.
The company is also working towards becoming a women’s employer of choice and is currently in the process of obtaining an EDGE certification, a global business certification standard for gender equality.