Insurance Data: Men Shop, Women Buy

A recent analysis of consumers who have accessed the RightQuote Internet site found that men do most of the visiting, but it’s women who actually submit applications.

The number of women visitors who actually submit applications for policies is almost double the rate of men, according to Michael D. Levison, chief executive officer of Coverdell & Company, the Atlanta-based financial marketing firm behind RightQuote.

The data show that each month an average of 15,000 online shoppers visit the site. Typically, around 80 percent of the visitors are men. Some site visitors browse, others simply get free quotes, and some buy policies. Thirty-five percent of the buyers are women, according to Levison.

Among the reasons for the increased propensity of women to buy are two well-established trends: their increasing role in household financial decision making, and the relative importance women ascribe to insurance in their financial planning activities.

A Monthly Labor Review study done in April of 1998 found that 23% of women in dual-income households had higher annual incomes than their husbands. The article highlighted the changing roles of husbands and wives in these families, and acknowledged the steadily-growing role of women as financial decision makers. With many women already making financial purchases as the single head of a household, the significant size and growth of the women’s financial marketplace becomes apparent.

Additionally, a 1998 study by the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) found that nearly 50 percent of women surveyed ranked the protection of their family, property and home as their number one financial goal. Men’s top goals tended to be more investment-related.

“To many women, buying life insurance represents progress towards one of their top financial goals,” Levison said.

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