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Microinsurance Network

What is the Microinsurance Network?

The Microinsurance Network is a member association made up of microinsurance experts, including insurance and social protection providers, policymakers, funders and academics. It provides a platform for information sharing and stakeholder coordination by encouraging shared learning, facilitating knowledge generation and dissemination, and providing a multi-stakeholder platform.

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Why was the Microinsurance Network created?

The Microinsurance Network was created by donor organisations and experts who wanted to promote good-value insurance services for low-income persons. The conviction that this only can be achieved through creation of public goods and working together is still a key driver of the Network today.

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What is the structure of the Microinsurance Network?

The Microinsurance Network is a member based not-for-profit organisation coordinated by an Board of directors and a secretariat.

The Board of directors is composed of seven members: The chair is held by Craig Churchill of the ILO and the vice-chair by Alexia Latortue of CGAP. The other Board members are Dirk Reinhard of Munich Re Foundation, Micheal McCord of the MicroInsurance Centre (treasurer), Brigitte Klein of BMZ / GIZ Financial Services, Maria Victoria Saenz-Samper of the Inter-American Development Bank and Brandon Mathews of Zurich Financial Services. 

Microinsurance Network

The secretariat is composed of four people: Véronique Faber, secretariat coordinator; Matthew Genazzini, communications officer; Magalie Durdux, member relations and fundraising officer; and Lisa Chassin, research officer. The Microinsurance Network is organised into several working and discussion groups to allow in-depth work on specific topics and issues.

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What are the activities of the Microinsurance Network?

The Microinsurance Network encourages members to commission and conduct research, distils and disseminates lessons learnt to promote client-driven and good-value insurance, raises awareness on the demand and potential for microinsurance among key stakeholders and finally, contributes to the development of good practices for the industry. 

The strategy plan 2012-2017 of the Network identifies five seperate outcomes:

  • Increased supply
    A diverse and growing number of providers offer a broader range of insurance services to an increasing number of low income people.
  • Improved client value
    Low-income customers receive high value insurance services.
  • Conducive environment
    Relevant stakeholders at the international and national level stimulate the provision of insurance services and protect clients.
  • Enabling infrastructure
    Appropriate infrastructure - information, technical assistance, payments, and financial - is in place to support insurance providers and the emergence of effective insurance services to low-income populations.
  • Performing and sustainable network
    The Network operates in a result-oriented and sustainable manner.

Key activities of the Network, geared towards these outcomes, include, among others, the June member meeting, where members can meet to discuss key issues both at working group and Network levels; the annual International Microinsurance Conference in November, co-organised with Munich Re Foundation, which brings together over 500 experts from around the world to exchange experiences and discuss challenges in microinsurance; as well as studies, publications and trainings organised by Working Groups.

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Where can I find more information?

More information on the Microinsurance Network can be found at About the Network.

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Working Groups

What are working groups?

The working groups provide a forum for exchanging information and experiences, discussing specific topics and themes, establishing related plans of action and publishing their findings. Working Groups are collaborations between members, whose size and duration depends on their activity and objective and whose aim is to address key issues and challenges in microinsurance.

Some of the working groups work on one specific project while others might work on a more long-term programme. Each working group has a facilitator and is approved by the General Assembly.

Groups that don't have a joint project or programmes but still want to put an issue or topic on the agenda and exchange experiences, can form now discussion groups. The current ones are all peer groups: researcher, funders and actuaries, but this is not a condition.

The Network has also set up a consumer protection task force that reunites facilitators and representatives from different working and discussion groups to ensure intra-group exchange and wide coverage of the issue of consumer protection.

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What are the activities of the working groups?

The activities of the working groups depend on the issue to be addressed, but usually start off with an assessment of the current situation in a specific context. The activities are detailed in an annual work plan and have to be endorsed by the working group members and the General Assembly. Some working groups have resulted in offshoot projects when an operational element became necessary, as with the Access to Insurance Initiative and the ILO's Microinsurance Innovation Facility.

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How does a working group work?

Working and disucssion groups as well as task forces should have a specific objective and activities that contribute to the Microinsurance Network’s strategic framework. Working groups are responsible for sharing and implementing their work plan and can request assistance with regards to communication, publications and general administration from the secretariat.

Each working group nominates a representative to serve as facilitator. In terms of working group interaction, some groups meet on a regular basis while others communicate primarily via e-mail or social media.

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How are new working groups set up?

New working groups can be presented at the General Assembly by any Microinsurance Network member with the interest of at least three members. They also require the endorsement by the General Assembly. Working groups can be terminated by notifying the secretariat if no further activity is necessary, or has been planned.

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How can I join a working group?

To join a working group, you must be a member of the Microinsurance Network. To be a member of a working group, a member should be able to provide some time or other in-kind or financial contributions, as active participation is required. If they do not have sufficient time to contribute, they are not required to join a working group immediately, but can do so at a later stage. Members wishing to join working groups are required to contact the secretariat to express their interest.

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Where can I find more information?

More information on working groups and their activities can be found at working groups.

Membership

Who are the members of the Microinsurance Network?

The members of the Microinsurance Network are microinsurance experts and representatives from donor organisations, multilateral agencies, international non-profit organisations, social protection specialists as well as insurance professionals, technical assistance providers, microinsurance experts, academics and anyone involved in promoting the development of good-value insurance services for low-income persons. 

The Microinsurance Network starts 2014 with 69 institutional and 26 individual members from over 30 countries.

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How can I join the Microinsurance Network?

Organisations or individuals actively involved in microinsurance and committed to contributing to public goods and share the Microinsurance Network’s mission, should state their interest by filling out the online application form.

The secretariat will review the membership application and conduct the due diligence. If membership criteria are fulfilled, the secretariat submits the application to the Board of directors for validation. The Board of directors reviews membership applications on a monthly basis.

Membership will be considered as finalised once the application has been validated by the Board of directors and membership fees have been paid.

For more information on membership and the application process, please go to Become a member.

Membership is on an annual basis. 

Applications for 2014 are open 

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What is the difference between institutional and individual membership?

Institutional membership is for organisations involved in microinsurance and individual membership is for independent consultants or researchers involved in microinsurance. 

Institutional membership allows organisations to have multiple representatives under the organisations name. Individual membership is linked to a single individual and is not transferable. 

Institutional membership fee is implemented based on an honour system and organisations will be asked to classify themselves. The three membership fee categories for institutional members are: Small (750,- Euros), Medium (1 500,- Euros), and Large (2 500,- Euros). Individual membership fee is fixed at 200,- Euros per year. 

Both institutional and individual members are invited to attend to the General Assembly, which is held in November every year. However, only institutional members are eligible to vote. This includes election rights for the Board of directors.

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What are the membership criteria?

Organisations and individuals alike, who are actively involved in microinsurance, can apply for membership to the Microinsurance Network.  

The Network is an expert network and all the activities undertaken in the Network and its working groups have to contribute to the creation of public goods. 

Members are required to share the Microinsurance Network’s mission and fulfil members’ specific responsibilities:

  • Promote microinsurance as a risk management tool for low-income households;
  • Disseminate and/or implement lessons learnt and contribute to good practices;
  • Participate actively in the Network’s activities (General Assembly, working groups, etc);
  • Provide an annual update of their microinsurance activities (organisation or individual);
  • Pay the annual membership fee.

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What are the benefits of being a member?

The Microinsurance Network is multi-stakeholder platform and as such provides members with the unique opportunity to:

  • Influence good practices in microinsurance and focus on specific topics by participating to the working groups’ activities;
  • Receive invitations to member-only events such as the June member meeting, the member event at the International Microinsurance Conference, local member meetings and others;
  • Help shape the Network’s agenda by attending the General Assembly and taking part in decision-making process;
  • Access to the members-only forum on the Network’s website;
  • Keep up-to-date on the latest microinsurance news through our newsletter and the monthly member information mailing;
  • Highlight your profile and activities on the Network’s website and in the member directory.

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How do members contribute to the Microinsurance Network?

Members are invited to actively contribute to the Network’s activities by:

  • Promoting the development of good practices in microinsurance;
  • Bringing in their expertise and sharing information about lessons learnt within the working groups;
  • Taking part to the decision-making (attending the General Assembly, providing feedback on the strategy or any issues related to the Network’s activities, etc.);
  • Providing an annual update of their microinsurance activities (organisation or individual);
  • Pay the annual membership fee.

The contribution of members to the Microinsurance Network in terms of membership fees are as follows: The fee to be paid by institutional member’s amount either to 750, 1,500 or 2,500 - Euros per year according to the membership fee category selected. The fee to be paid by individual members are fixed at 200,- Euros per year.

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How to choose the appropriate membership fee category? 

The Network proposes in 2014 two types of membership: Institutional (750 - Euros, 1,500 - Euros and 2,500 - Euros) for organisations involved in microinsurance and Individual (200 - Euros) for persons active in microinsurance. 

The institutional membership categories are based on an honour system and organisations are requested to choose their category by following the guideline: 

1. Small (750 - Euros) 

  • Less than 1,000,000 - Euros of institutional annual revenue/budget 

2. Medium (1,500 - Euros) 

  • Between 1,000,000 - and 5,000,000 - Euros of institutional annual revenue/budget 

3. Large (2,500 - Euros) 

  • More than 5,000,000 - Euros of institutional annual revenue/budget 

Please note that this guideline is just meant as a classification aid and is in no case binding. 

Membership is renewed on an annual basis, and is valid from January to December. There are no discounts available. 

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When should I pay the membership fee?

Individual members are requested to pay their membership fee before the secretariat submits the application to the Board of directors. If an application is not successful, a full refund will be provided.

New institutional members pay their membership fees once the Network has validated the application.

Membership is renewed on an annual basis, and is valid from January to December. There are no discounts available.

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I applied for membership but have not received a confirmation yet.

Once you have applied, you will be contacted by the secretariat within five working days. We will also inform you about the date when your application will be reviewed.

If you have not received this feedback concerning your membership application, please send a message to the secretariat using the contact form on the website.

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I am a new member and joined a Working Group but have not received any information yet.

Once your payment is received, the secretariat will confirm your membership and send you instructions on how to join a working group. If you have followed these instructions but have not received feedback about your participation within a working group, please send a message to the secretariat using the contact form on the website.

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Where can I find more information?

More information on membership and the application process at Become a Member.

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Website

What can I find on the Microinsurance Network’s website?

The website hosts a wealth of information, tools, news and newsletters relating to the Microinsurance Network, its activities as well as a calendar of events, resources, news and publications. It is divided into four categories:

Network: This category contains all the information you need to know concerning the Network, including its history and organisation, the Working Groups, information on the International Microinsurance Conference, as well as information on Network members and membership. You can also see a list of all institutional members.

Microinsurance: This category explores the topic of microinsurance itself via Keywords, outlining its History, identifying relevant Challenges and Topics and presenting a Lexicon with all the definitions you need to know related to microinsurance.

News: This category is regularly updated with news about the Network and its members, as well as news from the world of microinsurance at large and recently released publications.

Network Resources: This category provides visitors with all the past and current issues of the Microinsurance Trilogy (the Network’s Newsletter), an interactive Calendar with events and workshops on the topic of microinsurance, a Publications centre where you can browse through all the Network’s publications and finally, a Resource centre offering a vast array of microinsurance-related links and information.

You can move from one category to the next at all times by clicking on the colour-coded quick links on the left hand side of the page.

The website also features a search function at the top right hand corner of the website. Additionally the website also features Spanish and French language mini-sites, membership information, an application form, a contact form and RSS feeds.

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How do I get a microinsurance event on the calendar?

If you know of, or are organising an event that have not been included in the calendar, please send a message to the secretariat using the contact form on the website.

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Is there information available in French or Spanish?

The Microinsurance Network includes mini-sites in French and Spanish, each of which contains information on the Microinsurance Network, its working groups and publications available in each language.

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What are RSS feeds? How can I subscribe?

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds are a means of delivering regularly changing web content to users to keep them regularly updated. Subscribing to the Microinsurance Network’s RSS feeds allows you to be notified automatically when Network working group pages, the Microinsurance Challenges and Topics page and the various News pages have been updated. You can receive RSS feeds by email (e.g. on MS Outlook) or through your web browser (e.g. Mozilla Firefox). To subscribe to one of the Microinsurance Network’s RSS feeds, click on any link in the RSS Feed Page and select the chosen subscription option in the drop-down window.

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Forum

What is the forum on the website?

The forum is a space reserved for members of the Microinsurance Network to exchange on topics and issues relating to the working groups and the Network itself. It seeks to be a virtual platform on which members can continue to work and interact as well as a vector for information from the secretariat.

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Why can I not log onto the forum?

There are several reasons why this could occur. You must be a Microinsurance Network member to register for the forum, so if you are not yet a member you will not have access to this facility. If you are a member and are having problems logging in, please check that your username and password are correct. Should you not remember this information, please see What do I do if I forgot my password or username?

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How can I log onto the forum?

Only Microinsurance Network members have access to the forum. If you are a new member, you will need to register to be able to use the forum. Please send a message to the Secretariat using the contact form on the website to request a forum walkthrough.

Existing members simply need to type in their username and password and click on OK. At registration, or at each log-in attempt should they not have selected this option earlier, they will be able to tick the “Log me on automatically each visit” box, which will allow them to always stay logged in.

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What do I do if I forgot my password or username?

If you have forgotten your username, please send a message to the secretariat using the contact form on the website to request a reminder. Should you have forgotten your password, please click on I forgot my password and submit your username and email address to receive a new one.

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How can I stay updated automatically?

If you wish to receive automatic updates of new posts or comments, you can subscribe to one or more forums of your choice. To do this, enter the general category (Microinsurance Network, working groups, forum feedback) in which the forum is located and click on the forum you wish to subscribe to. At the bottom of the forum page, select “Subscribe forum”. The tick in this box indicates that you are subscribed to the forum. Once you are subscribed to the forum of your choice, you will receive automatic updates on the activity taking place therein. To unsubscribe from a forum, follow the same procedure, this time ticking the “Unsubscribe forum” box.

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Where can I find more information?

To obtain more information on the forum, please read the forum User Guide.

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Newsletter

What is the Microinsurance Trilogy?

The Microinsurance Trilogy is the Microinsurance Network’s newsletter, published three times a year and in three languages: English, French and Spanish. Each issue of this newsletter focuses on a specific topic in microinsurance, providing readers with in-depth analysis and insights on relevant challenges and opportunities as well as a related and illustrative case study. Each newsletter also features news from the Network.

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How can I receive the newsletter?

In order to receive the newsletter when it is published, you need to be subscribed to the newsletter mailing list. You can register here.

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Where can I find the previous issues?

All back issues with a short description can be found and downloaded from Microinsurance Newsletter.

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Mailing list

What is the Microinsurance Focus mailing list?

This mailing list aims to become the most important listserv for announcements and discussions related to microinsurance. The purpose is to encourage the free flow of information and stimulate discussions with the goal to promote knowledge building and exchange. Anyone interested in microinsurance can join.

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How can I register to this mailing list?

Use this link to subscribe to Microinsurance Focus. To subscribe, you will need to provide us with your email address (your name is optional), as well as a password and select the language in which you wish to receive your messages.

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How can I unsubscribe?

If you wish to unsubscribe from this mailing list, send a message to the secretariat using the contact form  on the website, stating that you wish to unsubscribe.

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Social Media

How can I follow the Microinsurance Network on Twitter?

The Microinsurance Network is on Twitter. To follow us on Twitter and be updated with the latest news and information from the Network, click here.

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Is the Microinsurance Network on LinkedIn?

The Microinsurance Network has a company profile on LinkedIn that you can follow, as well as the individual profiles of a number of our members.

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Is the Microinsurance Network on Facebook?

The Microinsurance Network is on Facebook and you can 'like' the Network by clicking here. The page will be updated with news from the Network and its members, with an emphasis on videos and pictures.

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Is the Microinsurance Network on Pinterest?

The Network is on Pinterest, which is social networking website that allows you to visually share, curate and discover new facts, figures, articles and pictures. Click here to view the Network pinboards! 

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