It’s Talk Money Week this week – a week designed to break the taboo of talking about money and improve people’s financial wellbeing. We’ve asked the Fair4All Finance team to share their thoughts throughout the week on ‘if you could do one thing…’ to improve financial inclusion.
Jake Attfield, our Senior Programme Manager, Strategy, shares an update on our work with the insurance sector.
If you could do just two things? I know I’m breaking the rules but there’s so much exciting stuff going on!
According to our latest segmentation analysis, 49% of those in financially vulnerable circumstances say that the cost of living crisis affects their ability to afford insurance. That’s 8.6m people.
Having the right insurance and protection products makes people more financially resilient. It also gives them confidence and peace of mind that they can withstand financial shocks and deal with unexpected life events.
Improving financial inclusion in insurance is an important priority for us at Fair4All Finance and it has been a busy few months for our programme.
The Financial Insurance Action Group
Our engagement with the insurance sector is based around the Financial Inclusion Insurance Action Group we convene with stakeholders from across the insurance sector.
The group, which has a primary focus on the provision of better general insurance options for people in financially valuable circumstances met this week, during Talk Money Week, focusing on a few key topics.
The headline act was Ayesha Begum, Programme Manager for Strategy and Impact at Fair4All Finance who presented the findings from our research into the experiences of different minority ethnic communities when accessing financial services and the implications for the insurance industry.
The research helps us to understand how ethnicity influences access to and use of financial products and services and how providers can be more inclusive in design.
Many of the key themes that emerged in the research including lack of transparency, distrust, access, cultural representation, and lack of personalisation are topics that really resonate with the group and we’re hopeful that the calls to action included in the research will lead to better outcomes for consumers.
So if you do just one thing? Sign up for the official launch of the research into the experiences of different minority ethnic communities when accessing financial services, to hear about the findings first hand and see how you or your organisation can help turn recommendations into actionable solutions.
Our second topic was to hear an update from the sprint team that is looking into low levels of take up of contents insurance products by low income groups, especially renters.
We know that at least 2.5m (61%) renters in low income households are not covered by home contents insurance, yet they are more likely than other groups to suffer damage or loss of household contents from burglary, fire or flood. And that there are a selection of affordable or low cost options already on the market.
The aim of the sprint is to understand why we have such low levels of take up; is it price, value of the products on offer, problems with access, trust or something else?
Given the cost of living crisis is squeezing people more and more every day, we are also interested to learn whether contents insurance is really the appropriate solution or product for these groups.
It’s an exciting project and great to have so much active engagement from major insurers on a big issue affecting so many people.
Tackling the protection gap
Our second area of focus is an exciting programme where we are supporting the Aviva Foundation to undertake a research project to better understand what role credit unions can play in tackling the protection gap.
The Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 allows credit unions to provide insurance distribution activitiesand this project will look at this opportunity from both the credit union and insurance sector perspective.
It’s great to work with the Aviva Foundation who share our passion for financial inclusion through their mission to help people become more financially secure.
We’ve also received strong support from the Financial Inclusion Insurance Action Group and the credit union sector. We believe this work will help us understand the landscape better and to perhaps identify some business models or propositions for development and testing that could work for insurers, credit unions and most importantly their members.
So if you do just one (more) thing? We are aiming to appoint a supplier to lead this research by the end of November and their work will require engagement with both sectors. So if you are interested in this research and the possibilities then please get in touch and we can add you and your organisation to the list of potential interviewees.