Written by the Access to Insurance Initiative and the MiN
Next week in Argentina, the 14th Consultative Forum will bring together insurance companies, digital providers, policymakers and regulators to discuss how new technologies and players are changing the insurance landscape, which supervisory approaches are needed in order to stimulate innovation and what protection consumers need.
Digital technologies have experienced rapid growth in recent years and are changing the insurance landscape by paving the way for new companies and business models with the potential to enhance financial inclusion. In many parts of the world, and especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile insurance - using mobile phones for distribution, servicing or payments - has already provided access to insurance for a large part of the previously uncovered population. Going a step further, mobile and other digital technologies are now introducing new business models - peer-to-peer insurance for example - adapted to the needs of customers. At the same time, insurers and InsurTech pioneers are digitising processes from initial application and premium collection through to claims payments. This leads to reductions in administrative overheads and means customers benefit from receiving payouts in their mobile wallets almost immediately. Advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions are currently being developed to better spot discrepancies in data and help to tackle fraud. These are just some of the examples of the benefits that new technologies can bring.
However, a degree of caution is also evident with supervisors wanting to protect consumers from potential risks arising from these new technologies, especially given the greater availability of data and use of data analytics. Regulation and supervision must ensure the right balance between facilitating innovation, increasing the inclusiveness of the insurance sector and maintaining the conditions for a fair, safe and stable insurance sector for the benefit and protection of policyholders. The fast-moving developments in InsurTech are a challenge for existing regulatory frameworks which must now take account of new business models, new actors in the insurance value chain, data protection, cyber-security and consumer education. For supervisors, it is important to keep close to, and learn from, emerging market developments. A growing range of supervisory practices are being used to learn about innovations and pilot new approaches that don’t fit well under existing rules. These include less resource-intensive, well-established approaches such as ‘test and learn’, open dialogue with the industry and other sectorial supervisors, as well as establishing more resource-intensive innovation hubs and sandboxes.
Balancing these competing priorities is key to growing inclusive insurance in emerging markets - which is where the Consultative Forums come in. The next Forum – jointly organised by International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), the Microinsurance Network (MiN) and the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) in partnership with Association of Insurance Supervisors of Latin America (ASSAL) and the Argentine National Insurance Supervisory (SSN) – aims to answer some of these challenges. Around 70 senior figures from industry, supervisory authorities and public sector will gather in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the 14th Consultative Forum on 24 October. Participants will hear from policymakers, supervisors and industry heavyweights including A.M. Best, Zurich Latin America, MiCRO and Banco Santander, as well as IAIS, A2ii, MiN, and the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Dialogue between policymakers, supervisors and the industry is critical for fostering knowledge and sound policymaking in the field of inclusive insurance. Join us at the 14th Consultative Forum in Buenos Aires to contribute to this important debate.
09:00 ART (local time Buenos Aires) | 08:00 EDT (Washington DC) | 13:00 BST (London) | 20:00 SGT (Singapore)