Female small business owners are less likely to get advice on how to insure their business than males, research has revealed.

A survey of 900 business people by insurer Vero found just over half (54 per cent) of female business owners said they used a broker to get insurance compared with 71 per cent of male owners.

Across both men and women the biggest reason for not using a broker to buy insurance was because they believed they could do it themselves. (58 per cent).

Nearly one in four said they did not want to deal with a middleman, while 18 per cent of the females surveyed and 12 per cent of males did not see any benefit.

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Women were also more sceptical about commissions than men with 16 per cent believing a broker was more likely to recommend a policy that offered them the biggest commission compared with 12 per cent of men surveyed.

Men were less trusting with 26 per cent of males surveying saying they did not use a broker because they did not trust them to offer the best policy compared with 3 per cent of women.

The survey also found a lower awareness by women of using brokers with 13 per cent saying they did not use one because they had not thought about it compared with just 2 per cent of men.

Catherine Bateman, executive general manager customer experience at Vero, said despite the broker industry being male-dominated she did not believe that was a factor putting women off getting advice on insuring their businesses.

"We have asked women why they don't use brokers and that did not come up," she said.

The main area of difference between men and women was awareness of using a broker, she said.

The research found female small business owners were more likely to be younger with 63 per cent of females under 50 compared with only 39 per cent of males.

Women were also more likely to work in or own larger businesses and less likely to be sole traders.

Bateman said that could reflect the fact that more women were feeling empowered to start their own business and greater pressure to have to have two incomes coming into the family.

"It encourage women to try their own thing."

But more female business owners were also worried about a wider range of issues.

The biggest concerns for both male and female business owners was being unable to trade for a long period of time.

While women were equally concerned about the business owner or key employee taking time off work due to injury or illness, an increase in costs was more worrying to males.

Vero's report said the data could suggest women were generally more concerned or it may be that female small business owners had a propensity to think about a broader range of issues or that women were more comfortable admitting to concerns about their business.

Both men and women business owners saw their biggest challenges as dealing with admin or regulatory obligations while women were much more likely then men to say they were challenged by having no time for themselves or their family.