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Sagicor Pitching to Women

Published:Sunday | June 26, 2016 | 12:00 AMNeville Graham
Mark Chisholm, executive vice president of Sagicor Life Jamaica.

Insurance provider Sagicor Life Jamaica is making a pitch to women through revamped insurance products befitting their lifestyles, partly in acknowledgment of their more dominant role as heads of households.

It helps that they are more inclined to pay their bills.

Mark Chisholm, executive vice-president in charge of Sagicor's Individual Life Division, said that in constant market reviews, women kept turning up as the demographic offering better growth potential for the life insurance business.

"What we found is that more women are becoming the de-facto head of households than say in the 1970s and the 1980s. We also found that women are more empathetic when it comes to insurance. In fact, they have a lower lapse rate, in that, they more readily pay their premiums than men," said Chisholm.

Sagicor has created a product called Total Woman, offering life coverage with a critical care component that takes care of major emergencies. In addition, there is coverage for pregnancy complications and a newborn benefit that is worth up to $500,000.

"We focused on putting together a bundled product and aimed it at a particular segment of the market. We also noted that women were suffering more from the chronic non-communicable diseases, so the cancers such as breast cancer were affecting females more than we have among the male population," Chisholm said.

"We did a focus group and, coming out of that focus group, we found that females wanted this product."

Last year, Sagicor Group Jamaica earned 20 per cent more revenue, leading president Richard Byles to heap praises on sales team. Sagicor Life contributed more than half, $4.98 billion, of the record $9.79 billion profit made by the record.

Chisholm said the 2015 performance really goes back to the changes made in 2014 when the company beefed up its sales force from 395 to about 420.

"This increase is even more significant when we consider that many of our long-serving team members left us at about that time," Chisholm said.

Sagicor also adopted a new approach to selling its products. The team members are no longer 'sales agents'. Instead, they became 'insurance advisers'. And, the sales pitch was no longer enough - agents also had to develop networking, relationship building and marketing skills.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com