Thursday, March 23, 2017
The Inclusive Insurance Asia Public Private Dialogue (PPD) and Microinsurance Learning Sessions, took place March 14-16 in Hanoi, Vietnam. The event, co-organised by the Mutual Exchange Forum on Inclusive Insurance Network (MEFIN) and the Munich Re Foundation, along with the Microinsurance Network, gathered regulators and industry leaders from MEFIN member countries to provide an overview of the Asian inclusive insurance landscape.
Focus topics at the event were technology and distribution, financial literacy and education, disaster risk insurance for SMEs and agriculture and health as well as regulation and supervision. Christiaan Loots of Cenfri, who was in attendance on behalf of the Microinsurance Network and presented the Network’s study on MNOs as distribution channels for microinsurance in Asia, commented that the event provided a valuable opportunity for exchange on region specific topics.
The majority of MEFIN member countries are currently thinking about or in the process of revising their insurance regulation to be more microinsurance specific, so the event was greatly appreciated by participants and provides an opportunity for tangible outcomes in the near future. Within this context it is timely to be thinking about the role of MNOs as aggregators in the sector and how technological innovations are going to be affecting regulation in future.
There has been a big increase in the microinsurance offer and coverage in Asia but overall penetration remains quite low. In general, the Asia region appears to be behind Africa in terms of technological innovation in microinsurance and there is an opportunity for the Asian market to learn from lessons in the African space. In terms of financial education the event highlighted once more that design is equally important and key in ensuring simplicity of products and product understanding. It was also recommended that insurers leverage local networks such as existing community structures to reach rural audiences and assist with financial education. Disaster risk was a popular topic, and the MEFIN network is interested in expanding their focus in this area in the near future.
The MEFIN Network, composed of representatives from Indonesia, Nepal, Mongolia, Philippines, Pakistan and Vietnam, is looking to expand and welcome more member countries from the region. Eligible for membership are inclusive insurance policy makers and regulators, insurance industry associations, academic institutions, and others organisations (to be more narrowly defined in future). Under the MEFIN umbrella there are currently four working groups covering regulation & supervision, capacity building, knowledge management, and business models. To express an interest in joining MEFIN fill in an application online.
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