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Pushing the Innovation Frontier in Microinsurance

Emerging Insight #:


Date of Release:

  September 2, 2013


  Other channels, Client interface, Country experience, Mobile network operators, Improving value


  Emerging Insight series

From May to August the Facility celebrated five years of pushing the innovation frontier in microinsurance with a campaign showcasing innovations in distribution, technology, client-centric products, and market development. Here is a recap of the Emerging Insights.

May: Distribution

MFIs bring claims closer to clients.Innovative microfinance institutions have improved the claims process for clients by implementing innovations such as advances and pre-approvals for certain types of claims.

The “multiplier” effect: distributing insurance through banking correspondents. Insurers are utilizing extensive networks of “banking correspondents” (outlets such as small shops or hairdressers that provide financial services on behalf of a bank) to sell microinsurance.

To learn more about pushing the frontier in distribution, access the slides and recording of the webinar on “new opportunities in microinsurance distribution”.

June: Technology

From 2 months to 25 minutes: leveraging technology and better processes for enrolment. AMICUS’ experience highlights the challenges of adapting processes to be efficient and client-friendly. Technology-enabled innovations are part of the solution, but the processes they support also need to be improved.

A good call: using mobile phones to improve premium collection and data quality. Replacing paper-based recording of premium collections with a mobile phone-enabled solution allowed UAB Vie to simplify administrative processes and enhance data quality. 

To learn more about pushing the frontier in technology, see the summary report of the forum on “technology in microinsurance”.

July: Client-centric products

Insurance helps clients reduce (but not avoid) using stressful informal coping strategies. Fonkoze’s client value assessment shows that after suffering losses, the uninsured sold substantially more assets than the insured. Theinsured were more likely to reduce consumption in the short-term while waiting for the insurance payment, resulting in an improved financial outlook for the long-term.

Keeping PACE with client value.SAJIDA Foundation, a microfinance institution in Bangladesh, made several product and process changes to improve client value after using the Facility’s PACE client value assessment tool.

What is the value of outpatient health insurance? Evidence from a number of schemes shows that providing access to free or discounted outpatient services leads to lower use and cost of inpatient services. The results from one scheme, CARE Foundation, were recently published in the Lancet, a leading medical journal.

To learn more about pushing the frontier in client value, access the slides and recording of the webinar on “delivering on the promise of microinsurance: putting clients first”.

August: Market development

A country’s stage of microinsurance market development indicates unique market gaps and opportunities. Four stages of market development characterize microinsurance markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. Understanding the stage of market development is important to identify opportunities for growth and investment. This insight is part of a special Latin America Emerging Insight series produced by the Facility and the IADB Multilateral Investment Fund.

Developing an insurance market, one step at a time.A systematic, step-wise approach that involves key stakeholders can accelerate development of insurance markets, as witnessed in Zambia.

To learn more about pushing the frontier in market development, access the slides and recording of the webinar on “building an inclusive insurance market”.