Sam White set up her first insurance company when she was only 24 because she was motivated to change what insurance could offer women. Now a well-known podcaster and communicator, White continues to promote women and diversity in the financial services sector with her recently-launched car insurance called Stella.
Stella car insurance takes into account the fact women are statistically safer drivers and it rewards them for this improved risk profile. Even better, they’ve made the Stella customer experiencey easy-to-use online with a quick quote estimate given to new customers after just five snappy questions – recognising we may not have the time for filling in long, drawn-out forms.
Comedian and radio host, Gen Fricker leads the Stella launch campaign with a series of hilarious (and oh-so relatable!) videos. Take a look at the first one in the series below:
Some of the extras included with Stella car insurance are:
- Cover for damage to your car if it arises from a deliberate act in a domestic violence situation.
- $2000 worth of baby gear cover which is in addition to the standard cover for child seats and personal effects.
- $100 excess reduction for each consecutive year you don’t make a claim up to maximum of 3 years, saving you $300 off your excess come claim time.
- Free magazine subscription of your choice when you purchase car insurance with Stella.
We interviewed Sam White to ask her more about her motivation to make a car insurance product that’s more specifically for women. Read what she told us below:
You have a saying at Stella Car Insurance – ‘Drive like a girl and be rewarded for it.’ Can you explain this catchcry?
“Women are statistically much safer drivers and therefore better customers for insurers so we make sure that fact shows in the price they pay today, and over time they’ll all benefit further from the collective power of that group dynamic.
“In Australia, women account for 52% of all road users and make the majority of household purchasing decisions, but insurance and motor services rarely market to women. That just doesn’t make sense to me,” said White.
What else does Stella car insurance do for women?
“Stella insurance has been built specifically with women in mind. That sounds like a fluffy statement but the truth is insurance as a industry has a long way to go to become customer-centric. Most policies have been designed by underwriters to protect loss ratios, not by product designers to delight customers.
“We specifically said we would get under the skin of our target demographic and understand what’s important. Women complained they didn’t feel they were rewarded for their loyalty, so we made sure that if you stay with Stella – your excess for instance – reduces every year if you’ve had no claims.
“We also give our customers a year’s subscription to their favourite magazine to say thank you for choosing us. We removed the clause that unfairly discriminated against women whose partners damaged their vehicles (so a victim of domestic abuse isn’t further disadvantaged).
“On a wider basis, we have started a fund to support other female entrepreneurs to get started or to scale up their business so we can pay it forward. This is just the start – now the hard work begins. We promise to continue to listen to what women want and try and change the product accordingly,” said White.
You’ve said that research shows only 10% of women actually understand their car insurance and you want to change this by simplifying the process. How are you doing that?
“We went through all of our documents and tried to simplify the wording so the ‘insurance speak’ is minimised. But we’re also continuing an ongoing dialogue with our customers to make sure they truly understand what they’ve purchased and how we can help them,” she said.
You’ve also said your purpose at Stella is much bigger than changing the insurance game. What other areas are you moving into?
“Our view is that if we can support other female entrepreneurs, we’ll help change the game outside of just insurance. Over time, we want to move into other lines of insurance and potentially other parts of the financial services industry,” said White.
Why should insurance companies be providing domestic abuse cover?
“At the moment, many policies further discriminate against women by refusing to cover damage caused by a partner. Women are already unfairly disadvantaged across many financial measures so it’s morally reprehensible to further compound this by refusing to pay out when you have been a victim of partner vandalism,” she added.
What are some of the tricky conversations women should be having with their financial advisors etc?
“If you don’t understand something, refuse to let it go until you do. Many financial products are unnecessarily complicated so it’s OK to keep pushing for answers – even if you feel it could be a stupid question. It’s your money and you should know what you’re getting for it.
“Also, on a wider basis, we should be demanding that product providers tailor products specifically for us because women have different needs to men. Women may take career breaks to have children, they may retire at a different age and they need support during difficult times like menopause. All of these things will most likely not have been built into things like income protection, so let’s ask for that to change,” said White.
To read more about the car insurance for women, by women, visit Stella’s website www.stellainsurance.com.au