12th IMC closing remarks

Friday, November 18, 2016
All good things come to an end and so did this year’s 12th International Microinsurance Conference. In light of the tremendous sharing of experiences and lessons learned at this event Dirk Reinhard, Vice Chair at Munich Re Foundation and co-organiser of the conference, encouraged participants to look beyond the low hanging fruit to provide products that really cater to the needs of those who need it the most. 
“So much information and valuable knowledge about inclusive insurance has been shared”, said Damayanthi Fernando, Chairperson of the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka, “We must keep up the momentum”. She also highlighted that the Landscape of Microinsurance in Sri Lanka, co-published by the Microinsurance Network and Munich Re Foundation, has provided valuable insights to the regulators in Sri Lanka. “The sector has received a boost and Public-Private-Partnerships will be receiving more emphasis” she added. Further, takeaways are that Community-Based-Organisations need to be stimulated to reach out to the poor and make them aware and insurable; skilled manpower is an important stimulus for growth of the sector; and the sector must put more emphasis on developing actuaries.
In his closing remarks, Michael J. McCord, Chair of the Microinsurance Network, highlighted the importance of the multi-stakeholders approach; the value for customers and trust building achieved through speedy claims settlement; how this can be achieved both through key stakeholders and the use of cutting edge technology; and how regulators need to take a leading role in a developing sensible regulations that enable the development of new products, channels and technology innovation. According to McCord partnerships need to focus on adding value to the people in need. Health insurance relies on proper access to care. Insurance without proper health care insurance is worthless. Risk management is the basis for the actual value of insurance for the poor. Risk reduction services need to go hand in hand with coverage in order to make it affordable. Women need special products to meet their needs. They need products that protect their health and at the same time empower them, give them protection of their assets and better prevention of problems when giving birth. “Communication might make insurance more tangible. But adding other services such as extra primary care will do too,” adds McCord. “Understanding the context of the poor is absolutely needed for everyone in insurance including actuaries,” he continues. “Think about more segmentation of the target groups, such as women, elderly and illiterate people. Design appropriate ways to approach them. Think innovatively. First listen to people and then design products. Keep on monitoring over the course of years, because you need to be in-line with the needs of the people. As those needs change, so need to change the products," he concludes.
Jagath Alwis, Chair of the 12th IMC Organising Committee and Chief Technical Officer at Ceylinco General Insurance, thanked the partners, speakers and audience. “A special thanks to the support team who have done a super job! They are a great winning team realising a fantastic conference. Nevertheless, the true winners will be the low income people: They need our support based on the lessons learned during these days,” he concluded.
Eduardo Móron, President of the Peruvian Association of Insurance Companies (APESEG), announced that the 13th International Microinsurance Conference will be taking place in Peru next year, November 6-10. Peru has an ancient history and culture, and has been doing well in terms of economic and financial development. The percentage of people living in poverty has decreased recently from 40% to 10%. Yet insurance is not very well established and risks are mostly covered through informal solutions. The Peruvian regulator is very much in favour of further developing microinsurance in the country and believes the 2017 conference will help boost microinsurance outreach.
The 12th IMC presentations will be made available on the Munich Re Foundation website in the coming 2 weeks. To read-up on our reporting from the 12th IMC visit the Network social media pages