Microinsurance is a new sector and understanding its extent of reach and overall performance through the lens of data and numbers is crucial for its development. For the sector to develop, stakeholders need data to understand reach, evaluate performance and design appropriate products which are valuable to clients. The numbers tell the story of the impact that microinsurance is making or is expected to make.
As part of his work in Kenya and Nigeria, Thierry van Bastelaer had the opportunity to work closely with private health insurers who are committed to finding affordable solutions to increase poor families' access to health care. These insurers are keenly aware that this requires finding a myriad ways to cut costs everywhere possible, despite the fact that they are viewed with suspicion by development practitioners who perceive them as either avoiding the low-income market or trying to make huge profits from it.
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.