The world of work is changing rapidly, with the pull of the digital revolution and the push of the pandemic, the way of thinking is changing and leading to far greater flexibility in the organization of our working life.
In the two years since the pandemic broke out, those who could have worked from home. Some are only now returning to the office for the first time, and thankfully many will never set foot in a physical workplace again. It’s not just office workers who are doing it differently, virtually all industries have adapted to the new normal.
This growing part of the economy is underserved by existing insurance policies. As a result, there is a need to develop a solution that caters to the specific needs of a work-from-home business owner.
Of the many interlinked work trends – from great resignation to intense competition for talent – one that has arguably stayed under the radar for the insurance industry for too long is the rise of new businesses being started and run from home.
The disruption of the last two years has been an eye opener to what is possible when it comes to how we work. And it’s no coincidence that the home-based business sector is thriving, fueled by home-based entrepreneurs, many of whom have left American corporations to become their own bosses.
15 million and counting
The insurance industry’s role as risk professionals is to understand how these big changes are affecting customers and respond with products and services they may not even know they need.
Incredibly, there are approximately 15 million home-based businesses in the US. Imagine an industry and most likely there will already be companies based back home doing their part. This growing part of the economy is underserved by existing insurance policies. As a result, there is a need to develop a solution that caters to the specific needs of a work-from-home business owner. After all, these are not stationary companies. They need something different than traditional small businesses, and they need specialized insurance solutions.
A AXIS Insurance Survey of 1,000 home office owners in the United States (as of Q4 2021) provided a snapshot of the rich diversity and reach of home office businesses in our country. Almost two-thirds (64%) of these owners were women, doing it for themselves from home.
These women take control of their own futures by pursuing and owning their passions. As we mark International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we celebrate women’s empowerment and achievements around the world. This is a poignant moment to stand up for women and their work.
The survey results revealed the types of businesses women were starting — and revealed an incredibly diverse range of industries, from fitness and marketing to IT and tutoring. The main sectors run by female home business owners were e-commerce and home improvement, and professional services (including consulting). Each of these women had an idea and realized it, be it trying something completely new or turning a part-time job into a career.
Doing business from home has been around for a very long time, but there has been a real boom in recent years. Spending more time at home during the pandemic was also an aha moment for many, prompting them to reconsider their life organisation. For some of these women, that meant leaving traditional corporate jobs and becoming self-employed. In fact, 42% of women have started their own business to pursue a passion that may not previously have seemed possible.
Starting a home-from-home business takes courage, but what gets them through is passion and determination to succeed. The second biggest motivation was being their own boss at 36%, with 34% saying they went into business to gain more financial freedom.
Running your own business can be empowering and this is a major motivator for the women interviewed. In fact, the most important trait identified for owning a home based business was passion, which provides the stamina and energy to stay positive and ultimately succeed.
The second most important trait was an entrepreneurial mindset. This reflects the confident and confident entrepreneurs in the survey. Ambition came third and the will to succeed. All helping these women own it in their own way.
Take the leap
Discovering how motivated and ambitious these women are to embark on a new journey was inspiring, and 44% said they were happy with their decision to start a business.
There is a clear opportunity for the insurance industry to get behind these home-based businesses and offer them quality products that provide protection and help them achieve their ambitions. Of all respondents to the survey, 91% know they need insurance for their home business, but around 44% don’t have one and find it difficult to navigate the whole experience of finding the right insurance.
With this gap between demand and supply, there is an opportunity for the insurance industry to empower and support this dynamic sector by developing, distributing and clearly explaining the insurance solutions these businesses need. This is where the industry can do what it does best, helping these companies take bold steps forward to achieve their goals.
What we now know is that homeowners will no doubt stay here.
The month of March marks International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, celebrations of female empowerment and achievement by women around the world.