SBI General Insurance conducts financial independence survey for women
SBI General, one of India’s leading General Insurance companies, today underlined the importance of financial independence for women through a holistic campaign and a survey bringing intriguing insights. The survey was conducted to understand the perception of women and their understanding of financial independence, examine the triggers and barriers they face to become financially independent.
Being financially independent is a crucial goal for all of us, however, the notion of the same is subjective and can mean different things, especially for women. For working women, being financially independent may mean making her own financial decisions or being self-sustained by earning and managing their own money. However, for a homemaker, it may mean having monetary independence, freedom, and the ability to spend money whenever they want or sustain themselves during emergencies.
SBI General’s study reveals that being financially independent ranked among the top 3 priorities for women.
Interestingly, although women do associate a high level of importance with financial independence, majority indicate that they do not earn enough to be financially independent, and its therefore unsurprising to find in the survey that nearly 50% do not feel financially independent. The lack of financial independence is more evident in Tier 2 cities and amongst non-working women.
Basis the studies, about 33% of the women finds “cost of living” as one of the challenges or barriers for being financially independent. On the other hand, 1 in every 4 women indicate social / family restriction or lack of guidance from home as a barrier.
Encouragingly, in the survey, about 53% women have taken steps to save and invest, as proactive steps to become financially independent. However, only 38% women have claimed to be insured as a step to be financially independent.
Commenting on the insights from the survey, PC Kandpal, MD & CEO, SBI General Insurance, said, “Today more and more women in India are focusing on being self-dependent and financially secure. However, the study shows, most women are still not self-dependent especially in financial matters like investment and insurance. In fact, our study highlights that while women strive to be financially independent, one-third of the women find lack of proper information and knowledge about investment & insurance, as one of the pulling factors.”
“Only 38% women have claimed to have insured themselves to be financially independent, signaling low levels of awareness and insurance penetration. There is a need to equip women with the necessary information so that they can make more informed choices about their finances. Our efforts are centered on this premise, and we will continue to undertake initiatives that make financial independence for women a part of mainstream discourse”, he added.
Other findings of the survey include:
- While women seek information around finance and investing across multiple media channels (online and offline), family guidance (22%) has the highest influence on their ultimate investment. Women therefore need to be encouraged to find more information on their own and take their financial decisions independently
- The study highlights that seeking professional help for their finances is rare among women. Even among those who consider themselves as financially independent. In fact, according to the study, while only 17% women had consulted a financial planner so far, one-third (34%) of the women also indicated a need for support/guidance from finance experts to be financially independent.
- 48% women consider increasing investment and savings as important steps to elevate the level of financial independence
- Majority (77%) of the women consider having individual bank account even after marriage, important as a part of being financially independent
- Only 30% women related financially independence with pre-empting emergencies
The survey was conducted in collaboration with YouGov, with over 1000 women in the ages of 25-45, residing in Tier I and Tier II cities across India. It captures insights from the top 6 metros, as well next 20 cities, including mini metros such as Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Pune and cities like Agra, Jaipur, Indore, Bhopal, Kanpur, Nagpur, Vadodara, Surat, and Chandigarh.