The Role of Insurance Regulation in Promoting Inclusive Insurance for Women

Recommendations for insurance supervisors to enhance women’s access to insurance

While women’s financial inclusion and gender considerations are emerging priorities for financial services supervisors, a gender perspective has been mostly absent from insurance regulation and supervision in developing and emerging economies. This paper aims to inspire momentum and increase awareness among insurance supervisors of the transformative potential of gender approaches. It explains how supervisors have started to consider gender dimensions in their work, in particular by exploring differences between women and men’s access to insurance. Moreover, it emphasizes the relevance of women’s access to insurance in the context of financial inclusion policymaking.

The paper proposes a number of key actions that may be relevant for insurance supervisors to consider. These include:

  • Engage with the insurance industry to understand where there is a need to remove regulatory constraints to support the transition of informal insurance into the formal sector;
  • Remove recognized regulatory barriers that hinder women’s access to insurance;
  • Encourage the insurance industry to develop a better awareness of gender differences in designing their products and distribution channels;
  • Adapt any complaint infrastructure to ensure it is accessible and responsive to women’s needs in order to address consumer protection concerns for women;
  • Collaborate with the lead authority in the development of a national financial inclusion strategy to include gender considerations on access and usage of insurance;
  • Gather and analyze sex-disaggregated industry data on access and usage of insurance by diverse product types;
  • Embark on gender-sensitive financial literacy strategies incorporating insurance education that considers women’s specific needs and behaviors, and the most appropriate channels to effectively reach women;
  • Coordinate with other government agencies and policymakers to understand any legal and policy constraints that may specifically impact women’s access to inclusive insurance.

About this Publication

By Miles, K. & Green, A.