According to recent academic research about 42% of all households in South Africa were female-headed. Combine these factors with the strain that ‘pink tax’ (a term referring to how women pay more for the same or similar, products and services than men) places on women’s pockets and it becomes evident women face unique financial needs and pressures.
Zuriena Hendricks, Underwriting Manager from Santam, South Africa’s largest general insurer says, “So much of a woman’s financial wellbeing is impacted by external factors that sometimes it is easy to overlook some of the issues that can be managed. This is why it is important to have a holistic financial plan that includes various insurance options. Doing so doesn’t just protect the person taking out the policy, but the more than 40% of South African families that depend on these women as the head of their households.”
To help empower South African women in their financial decision-making, Hendricks has this advice about how South African women can use insurance to bolster their financial wellbeing:
Risk Cover Is Imperative to A Holistic Financial Plan:
A recent study found the average middle-income South African was left with 20% of their salary, five days after payday. A burst geyser, broken window or any other unforeseen event can make that predicament even more precarious. This makes having adequate cover the difference between financial resilience and dire straits.
Hendricks says, “Insurance is an essential expense. Short-term insurance allows you to replace or repair your valuable assets in the event of loss or damage as well as cover liabilities to third parties in unforeseen circumstances.”
The benefits of short-term insurance include:
• Road assistance – flat tyre, flat battery, or any other roadside emergency.
• Home assistance – assistance for emergency household repairs.
• Home drive assistance – designed to encourage you to drive responsibly.
• Route assistance – a 24-hour directions service to guide you when travelling within the borders of South Africa.
• Medical assistance – emergency medical assistance and transportation.
• Legal advice – a broad-based service which provides you with legal advice and assistance.
What Products Should Women Consider?
Every woman has valuable possessions that they cannot live without. As such, women must become more familiar with their insurance needs to ensure they have adequate cover and protection for their possessions, in the event of loss or damage.
Examples of short-term insurance covers that all women should consider are:
- Building insurance: Covers all structures on the premises, outbuildings, paving, swimming pool, perimeter walls and fixtures.
- Contents insurance: Covers the contents of the home such as anything one would generally take with you in the event of a permanent move.
- Comprehensive Motor vehicle insurance: Covers any accidental damage or loss to the vehicle as defined in the policy wording.
What Assets Are Often Overlooked When It Comes To Insurance?
As your circumstances change so do your insurance needs. Therefore, it is important to regularly review your policy contract and amend it accordingly. With that being said, there are often assets and items that women overlook when it comes to insurance.
Hendricks says, “Women might not realise the value of the items they carry in their handbag or even on their person. For many women, even their handbags may be of considerable value. A woman’s wardrobe can also contain many valuable items whether it be Gucci or Jimmy Choo and cumulatively, the non-branded items could also account for substantial amounts.”
It is important to ensure items like these, for example, are adequately covered. It is recommended that people insure their items for the highest possible exposure. While many think that not everything will be lost at the same time, it is better to be appropriately insured than to have to deal with underinsurance at claim the stage.
Women make up around half the population and are a vital part of our economy. Ensuring their financial well-being is nurtured and well taken care of is a pillar in any economic revitalisation strategy. More importantly, building financial resilience among South African women, is the first and biggest step we can take toward building financial resilience in the nation as a whole.