About 7.8 billion people live on planet Earth. 1.3 billion of us are relatively rich. If we fall ill, we can afford the treatment needed or – more likely – the cost will be covered by national or private health insurance.
If our homes or business premises are destroyed or damaged by floods or fire, we expect compensation either from our private insurance or from the government.
And if we lose our jobs, many of us can claim unemployment benefit to help us pay our way until we find new employment.
The other 6.5 billion are not so fortunate.
There is a huge gap between losses to life and property that are insured – and those that are not. This is known as the protection gap. Swiss Re Institute most recently put the annual value of this gap – representing the economic value of health care, untimely death, and climate disasters – at US$ 1.42 trillion. Resilience – which had already weakened in 2019, is expected to weaken still further due to the accelerating pace of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lower-income countries and lower-income households shoulder a disproportionate share of this burden.
1.8 billion people are very poor – so poor that they do not have enough to eat. 4.7 billion people are not extremely poor, but they are still very, very vulnerable.
Sometimes we call them low-income, sometimes we call them emerging consumers. And at most, only one in five of them uses insurance protect them from the impact of ordinary risk.Read more
Making markets work for the poor (also called Market Systems Development or M4P) is an established approach to poverty alleviation in the global development community.
We believe inclusive insurance is a key aspect of this that works in the same, systemic way.Read more