The European Microfinance Week which took place in Luxembourg last week (18-20 November 2015) was rich in new perspectives and insights into financial inclusion for sustainable development and included thought-provoking sessions on microinsurance.
Microinsurance following extreme climatic events
In the panel on “Financial Services to increase resilience to natural disasters”, Annalisa Bianchessi from the Microinsurance Network presented research on how microinsurance stakeholders responded to Typhoon Haiyan
Insurers are increasingly recognizing the tremendous potential in the lower-income market. As the microinsurance industry develops and more attention is focused on lower-income consumers, good market data and information is critical to support positive growth.
Millions of low-income people living across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region want a safe place to save… but can’t. Low-income individual can access a loan quite easily. But a savings account? Forget about it. Due to an age-old regulation in almost every country in the region, microfinance institutions (MFIs) are prohibited from offering savings to clients.
“Getting the data right” was one of the key messages at the Paris 2015 Global Index Insurance Conference that took place on the 14th and 15th of September 2015. Information on past production yields, natural disasters and historical weather data is crucial for insurers to price the product premiums. In many countries, this information is neither available nor accurate enough for insurers. Climate change is causing increasingly harsh weather anomalies throughout the globe.
The Microinsurance Network attended the 2017 FARAD Finance Forum which took place in Luxembourg earlier this month. Organised by FARAD International, an independent insurance broker specialised in the Private Life Insurance sector, the event was held as a full-day forum for the first time, and brought together players of the three pillars of the financial industry: the banking sector, the insurance industry and investment funds.
While microcredit and savings have historically dominated the financial-inclusion conversation, there is growing recognition for the innovative ways that microinsurers are bringing services to the people who need them most.
“The Financial Inclusion Challenge” competition, run by The Wall Street Journal, showcases nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that are solving problems of financial access for the poor in the Asia-Pacific region.
An insight on technological advances in insurance offerings today
An eye-opening session took place at the 12th International Microinsurance Conference in Sri Lanka on the use of technology in microinsurance, presenting a number of interesting innovations on the way insurance can be offered.
What if you could simply swipe your card every time you wanted to pay for a minibus taxi ride? That might be more convenient than carrying the right change in cash... But what about if you are automatically insured for the trip you’re about to take, as a result of using that card? Now that’s an incentive, isn’t it?
With insurance penetration as a percentage to GDP in Ghana at below at 1.85% at the end of Q1 2016, according to Africa Insurance Organisation statistics from 2014, there is general consensus the sector is underperforming.
The second day of the 6th Consultative Forum on “Innovative products for the emerging consumer”, in Marrakesh, was organised into two breakout sessions, for regulators and industry participants to present insights and propose recommendations for microinsurance innovative product development.
Microinsurance products need to be designed in a way that is socially responsible and adds value to the end consumer.
The Expert Forum“Understanding donor engagements in microinsurance”, organised by the Network last month with support from Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A), presented findings from the the landscape of donor activity study, commissioned by the Network in 2015 and carried out by LMG Consulting and centred on the future outlook for donors in the microinsurance space and the priority areas in which they aim to focus their funding efforts going forward.
For many years the FinTech buzz was primarily focused on banking. Last year that all changed when 2015 was labelled the year of InsurTech. Last year InsurTech start-up funding exceeded $2.5 billion. This trend continued in the first quarter of 2016, with 45 InsurTech deals generating over $650 million, according to CB Insights data.
It’s hard to say exactly how many InsurTech companies exist today, but some trackers report well over 500. This includes innovations ranging from product development to distribution to claims, and everything in between.