Microinsurance offers families in poor countries protection from destitution. Increasing access to health, life and accident insurance helps vulnerable people being propelled into further privation, writes Amy Yee in The Guardian.
Yee highlights the clear benefits of microinsurance, as across the world, low-income communities are often shut out of financial services, such as savings accounts, insurance or mortgages, because they cannot afford premiums of fees, lack formal or regular jobs, collateral, identification or credit history - or even yet are either semi or totally illiterate.
Microinsurance covers for life, accidents, health and more, to give millions of people a safety net through goverment schemes private plans and public-private partnerships. This way, following emergencies like earthquakes, floods, or typhoons, families can avoid desperate measures, such as abandoing children or taking them out of school, incurring debts or selling assets.
In Asia, microinsurance is most prevalent in India and the Philippines, which have specific regulations in place. Yee illustrates the employment of such a service, with a case study from India, involving Ayesha Begam and the removal of her tumour free of charge, thanks to the national health insurance programme RSBY.
Between 2010 and 2012, Asia´s microinsurance market grew by 30% annually in terms of people covered, and 47% in premiums generated, according to a 2014 report by Munich Re Foundation and Germany´s GIZ aid agency.
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(c) Photograph: Nepalese earthquake victims at a temporary shelter after monsoon rains on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Micro-insurance schemes can offer a safety net for families after emergencies. Credits: Prakash Mathema/Getty, The Guardian.