Marketing disability insurance to women
By Daniel Steenerson
Disability Insurance Services
We all remember the 1990s classic, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” Written by American author and relationship counselor John Gray, its central thesis is that the most common relationship problems between men and women are the result of fundamental psychological differences and the distinct way each gender responds to situations. It’s no different when it comes to paycheck protection.
When it comes to financial planning, Americans can be fickle. And there are fundamental differences in how men and women approach it. Women perceive their risks differently and have different priorities, habits and needs than men, so connecting with them requires a different approach. That’s the first reason why you need to know how to market to women.
The other reasons are even more compelling. For example, did you know that the “protection gap” caused by not having paycheck protection is even more significant for women than it is for men? That’s because women are both more likely than men to become disabled and less likely to have disability insurance.
Whether they’re single, married, working, or stay-at-home moms, women are more physically and financially at risk of a disability. Many take time away from careers for caregiving, adding to their financial vulnerability. And when you consider that women also have a longer life expectancy than men, higher lifetime health care costs, and greater dependence on Social Security and other safety nets later in life, the need for disability insurance becomes clear.
Another compelling reason to offer paycheck protection to women is that they are playing a more prominent financial role in their households. The 2012-2013 MacroMonitor reports that in 65 percent of households, women are the primary financial decision makers. So they — and their households — have more to lose than ever before.
Considering these kinds of facts and statistics, you’d think women would be lining up to protect themselves with DI. But surprisingly, that’s just not the case.
Why? It goes back to the fundamental differences between men and women. Women just don’t approach financial planning with the same mindset as men. For example:
- Although women are concerned about the consequences of disability, only 37 percent of women have discussed it with their financial advisors, compared with 52 percent of men, according to a 2012 study by The American College State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services.
- For men, retirement planning is about growing wealth. For women, it’s more about how they can spend their golden years doing what they want. Their decisions about things such as DI are more likely to focus on family security rather than building wealth.
- A study by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) shows that only 30 percent of women have saved at least $200,000 for retirement, compared to 50 percent of men.
If you want to be successful at selling DI to women, you have to first be successful at meeting them on their terms. And that can be as simple as 1-2-3:
1. Understand their unique approach to retirement planning.
2. Focus on building long-term relationships and fostering their trust.
3. Provide them with clear, straightforward advice and information about the financial products that fit their unique needs and lifestyle.
Have you been successful with marketing paycheck protection to women? Post a comment below.