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Vero study: Women run larger SMBs; and they're more worried too

04 Dec 18

Women are more likely to run larger SMBs, but they’re also more worried, more stressed, and less likely to use an insurance broker for their business than male SMB owners.

A new study from Vero suggests that women and men have vastly different ways of operating their business. Female SMBs are more likely to run larger businesses of between 2-19 people, while men are more likely to be sole traders.

Females are also more likely to report higher levels of worry in areas such as the inability to trade for a long period of time, key employees or business owners needing time off work, reputational damage, equipment failure, and cyber attacks.

The study also found a significant difference between women and men who consider that having no time for themselves or their family is a significant business challenge (26% of women and 19% of men).

“All SMBs have a lot on their plate, but our research shows that women are worrying a lot more about a far greater range of things, and are also more likely to feel that they have no time for themselves or their families,” explains Vero executive manager customer experience, Catherine Bateman.

“On the other hand, it’s clear that when they get advice women are getting more value from it than men, because they are much more likely to say they are saving time, getting expert advice and have greater peace of mind when using an insurance broker.”

Men are more likely to seek advice from an insurance broker, the study found. 71% of men said they used a broker to purchase insurance, compared to 54% of women.

While SMBs owners that don’t use a broker are generally confident they could sort their insurance easily enough by themselves, sometimes a broker is not an option that even occurs to them.

Of those who don’t use a broker, women are more likely not to think of using one (13% of women compared to 2% of men).

Men, however, are more likely to be sceptical about brokers. 26% of men don’t trust a broker to offer the best policy for their business, compared to 3% of women.

“We need to find a way to connect women to the expert advice out there, because we know when they do this they get so much value from it,” comments Bateman.

“When women want something done, I think the natural response for many is to just do it. But using the services of an insurance broker is one aspect of their business where female SMBs could save themselves time and create more peace of mind.”

The study gained responses from 900 business owners and decision makers from around New Zealand, 

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