RFPI expands knowledge sharing on inclusive insurance globally

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Financial inclusion of low-income households has become a primary development agenda for many countries in Asia. Providing access to savings, credit, remittance and insurance is considered instrumental to achieving the poverty alleviation goal. Among these tools, access to inclusive insurance has received the least attention even as it offers significant impacts.

The Regulatory Framework Promotion of Pro-poor Insurance Markets in Asia (RFPI Asia) programme seeks to improve access to insurance in the region by building capcity for insurance regulation and supervision and by promoting the development of innovative insurance solutions for the low-income sector.

In March and April 2016 the RFPI programme faciliated knowledge sharing and capacity building at three global events as part of its efforts to promote financial protection of low-income populations, especially in the face of the growing number of disasters, and to translate regulatory and supervisory frameworks into practice.

On March 16 in Miami, USA, at the 7th Annual Latin American MicroInsurance Summit 2016 for international insurance professionals, RFPI Programme Director Dr. Antonis Malagardis, a long standing Microinsurance Network member, spoke about disaster risk insurance for Small and Medium Enterprises in the agro sector and the particular role of microinsurance. In his presentation he emphasized how one can develop an instrument for designing insurance solutions for today’s growing number of natural catastrophes; analyze related risks, impacts, and existing disaster risk management (DRM) strategies; identify when such analytical framework can be used by governments, regulators, donor agencies, and insurers; and find the appropriate balance between an academic approach and a more pragmatic approach.

On March 17 in Bangkok, Thailand, at the Inclusive Insurance (Microinsurance) Training Program for Supervisors in Asia, co-sponsored by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, Access to Insurance Initiative, and Toronto Centre, Dante Oliver Portula, RFPI Senior Advisor, and Shayne Rose Bulos, Supervising Insurance Specialist at the Microinsurance Division of the Insurance Commission of the Philippines, presented a case study on the Philippines’ approach to developing an inclusive insurance market to middle- and senior-level officials from microinsurance regulatory and supervisory agencies in Asia.

On April 7-8 in Tokyo, Japan, at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Financial Inclusion, co-organized by the ADB Institute Dr. Malagardis spoke once more about the role of microinsurance in DRM and how governments and insurers can work together. Malagardis presented highlights of the GIZ-developed disaster risk toolkit which bring together disaster risk finance—including microinsurance—and DRM approaches. The presentation was a follow-up to RFPI’s presentation, at the APEC Seminar on Disaster Risk Finance in April 2015 in Bacolod City, Philippines, on eight recommendations for integrating microinsurance in the Cebu Action Plan for resilient economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Photo: (L-R) GIZ-RFPI Programme Director Dr. Antonis Malagardis with Microinsurance Network chair Michael McCord and BIMA Singapore Regional Manager for South East Asia and the Pacific Puay Lim Yeo in Tokyo.