Malayan aims to be the preferred provider of women’s insurance by 2022.

A landmark partnership between the Philippines’ leading non-life insurance company Malayan Insurance Co. Inc. (MICO) and the International Finance Corp. (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, aims to increase women’s access to risk mitigation and financial protection mechanisms.

“A woman is more conscious of the needs of the family. They are more aware of the risks, and look for ways to mitigate the impact of those risks,” says Yvonne Yuchengco, president of MICO. “We feel that women are a huge and underserved market that can be empowered through insurance products specific to their needs,” she adds.

IFC sees the high growth potential for women’s insurance and estimates this sector of the industry to grow up to US$ 1.7 trillion by 2030 globally. Over half of this growth will come from emerging markets such as the Philippines, it adds.

“At IFC, we are focused on creating markets that are competitive, sustainable, inclusive, and resilient. We provide solutions to enhance the status of the populations we serve through our intermediaries, and that includes women,” says Yuan Xu, IFC Country Manager for the Philippines.

“For women, insurance is important as they are more vulnerable to shocks and more likely to face financial risk over the long-term then men,” says Esther Dassanou, Women’s insurance lead with the Gender Secretariat of IFC, adding that “Improved access to insurance would help women increase their savings, their ability to cope with financial challenges, free up income for major investments in business, while at the same time protecting their assets.”

MICO blazes the trail once again in the Philippine insurance industry by innovating programs to respond to women’s needs. In the country, nearly half of the estimated 106 million population are women, with an average life span of 76 years, seven more than men.* “The goal is to position Malayan as the preferred non-life insurer for women by 2022. We are well-placed to do that with IFC as our partner,” says Yuchengco.

The Philippines is acknowledged globally for its efforts in narrowing the gender gap, and this is evident in its consistent standing among the top 10 of most gender-equal countries in the world.** A snapshot of Filipinas’ entrepreneurial spirit is gleaned from Trade Department figures which show that 62 percent of trainees in its programs for micro, small, and medium enterprises are women.*

“The Philippines does great in promoting women’s rights, but women are still seen as homebodies,” says Dassanou, citing a need for a significant shift in the perception of women’s roles in the household and the economy, as they attain higher education and income levels..

“As we build intelligence on a women’s insurance needs, we ask ‘What are the things that keep them up at night that insurers can address,” and “develop targeted value propositions for them at every cycle of their lives,” says Dassanou..

The two groups realize the exciting challenge ahead in discovering the needs specific to Filipino women and creating the solutions that will best serve them. “It’s not a quick fix. We’re embarking on a journey to address women’s insurance needs, and we’re confident we can do this with Malayan Insurance,” says Dassanou.

IFC Gender Secretariat Women’s Insurance Lead Esther Dassanou, IFC Country Manager to the Philippines Yuan Xu, Yuchengco Group of Companies Chairperson Helen Y. Dee, and MICO President Yvonne S. Yuchengco cement the partnership aiming to study and develop women’s insurance programs at Malayan Insurance Co. Inc. (MICO) and the International Finance Corp. (IFC) MOA signing

Key officers from Malayan Insurance Co. Inc. (MICO) and the International Finance Corp. (IFC) were present for the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement to cement a partnership aiming to study and develop women’s insurance programs.