Home-Based Businesses Carry Risks, Rewards – and Insurance Industry Opportunities

By Jill Bryant | March 30, 2022
New You can now listen to Insurance Journal articles!

The world of work is changing fast, with the pull of the digital revolution and the push of the pandemic shifting mindsets and introducing far greater flexibility to how we organize our working lives.

In the two years since the pandemic struck, those that could, worked from home. Some are only now retuning to the office for the first time, and many will happily never set foot in a physical workplace again. It is not just office workers who are doing things differently, with virtually all sectors having adjusted to the new normal.

This growing section of the economy is underserved by existing insurance policies. As a result, it is necessary to build a solution that would address the specific needs of a home-based business owner.

Of the many interlinked labor trends being seen – from the great resignation to the intense competition for talent – one that arguably fell under the radar for the insurance industry for too long has been the growth in new businesses being set up and run from home.

The disruption over the past two years has opened eyes to show what’s possible when it comes to how we work. And it’s no coincidence the home-based business sector is thriving, driven by home-based entrepreneurs, many of whom have turned their backs on corporate America to become their own bosses.

15 Million and Rising

The insurance industry’s role as experts in risk is to understand how these big shifts impact customers and to respond with products and services that they might not even know they need yet.

Incredibly, there are some 15 million home-based businesses across the U.S. Think of an industry, and, more than likely, there will already be home-based businesses doing their bit within it. This growing section of the economy is underserved by existing insurance policies. As a result, it is necessary to build a solution that would address the specific needs of a home-based business owner. After all, these are not brick and mortar businesses. They need something different to traditional small businesses, and they need special insurance solutions.

An AXIS Insurance survey of 1,000 home-based businesses owners across the United States (in Q4 2021) provided a snapshot of the rich diversity and reach of home-based business across our nation. Almost two-thirds (64%) of these owners were women, doing it for themselves, from their homes.

These women are taking control of their own futures, by pursuing their passions and owning it. As we mark International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, celebrations of female empowerment and the accomplishments of women across the world, this is a poignant moment to champion women and the work they do.

Think It

The results of the survey showed what kinds of businesses women were setting up – revealing an incredibly diverse range of sectors, from fitness and marketing to IT, and tutoring. The top sectors operated by female home-based business owners were e-commerce and home crafts, and professional services (including consulting). Each of these women had an idea, and made it a reality, whether it was to try something completely new, or to turn a side hustle into a career.

Start It

Home-based businesses have been around for a very long time, but there has been a real boom in recent years. With more time spent at home during the pandemic, what was a real upheaval in our lives also provided a lightbulb moment for many that prompted them to reassess how they organized their lives. For some of these women, that meant leaving traditional corporate jobs and striking out on their own. Indeed, 42% of women started their own business to pursue a passion that may not have before felt possible.

Starting a home-based business takes guts, but what gets them through is a passion and a determination to succeed. The second biggest motivation, at 36%, was to be their own boss, with 34% saying they went into business to achieve more financial freedom.

Own it

Running your own business can be empowering, and this is a big motivator for the women surveyed. Indeed, the most important quality identified for owning a home-based business was passion, which provides the staying power and energy to remain positive and ultimately succeed.

The next most important quality was an entrepreneurial mindset. This is a reflection of the confident, self-assured business owners in the survey. Ambition came third and the desire to succeed. All help these women to own it in their own way.

Taking the Plunge

Discovering how motivated and ambitious these women are to embark on a new journey has been inspiring, and 44% said they were happy with the decision to start a business.

There is a clear opportunity for the insurance industry to get behind these home-based businesses and provide them with high quality products that provide protection and help them as they realize their ambitions. Of the total respondents to the survey, 91% know they need insurance for their home-based business, but around 44% don’t have it, finding the whole experience of getting the right insurance difficult to navigate.

With this gap between demand and supply, there is a chance for the insurance industry to step up and back this dynamic sector by designing, distributing, and clearly explaining the insurance solutions these businesses need. This is where the industry can do what it does best by helping to enable these businesses as they take bold steps forward to achieve their goals.

What we now know is that, without a doubt, home-based business owners are here to stay.

The month of March marks International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, celebrations of female empowerment and the accomplishments of women across the world.

Topics Market

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.