Bringing microinsurance to scale

Swiss Re firmly believes that risk protection can shift the prospects of low income and risk exposed societies around the world. A pioneer of several successful micro-insurance pilots developed in partnerships with different public and private sector partners, Swiss Re drew together a cross section of some of the world's most prominent stakeholders in a dialogue on the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Guest speakers Rajiv Shah, USAID and Rashad Kaldany, IFC acknowledged that insurance is an essential ingredient to perpetuate financial inclusion. It was also recognized that microinsurance is different from microcredit, as it has other challenges and requires a different enabling environment. Finally, the participants were asked to "think big" about which successful initiatives in different parts of the world can serve as models for scale up and replication –and what more needs to be done to make them truly financially sustainable.

Role of insurance recognized

Although lot of time and resources have been put in to launch microinsurance and it took time for the early movers to gain traction, the role of insurance for spurring growth and development is now widely recognized. The quest to develop products that are attractive, accessible and affordable for the customers continues. For the providers securing appropriate data to appropriately price the risk, the regulation around distribution, and insurance literacy and building trust that the system is work in progress.

Referencing some very successful projects, like the Kilimo Salama and the Rural Resilience Initiative in Africa, health care schemes in India, and MiCRO supporting women with small businesses in Haiti against natural catastrophe risk, there was consensus in the room amongst private, government and NGO participants that the page cannot be turned back on micro-insurance.

As proof of this development, Jacques Attali, President of PlaNet Guarantee and Martyn Parker, Swiss Re, signed a letter of intent to partner for the development of index insurance in the agricultural and energy sector to respond to the needs of vulnerable populations in emerging markets, in particular West Africa.

Find out more

Fonkoze CEO Anne Hastings and Mercy Corp CEO Neal Keny-Guyer share how their clients have benefited from microinsurance, and give their views on the challenges and opportunities that still need to be addressed. Swiss Re's Martyn Parker, Chairman Global Partnerships provides insight on what the next steps must be to bring microinsurance to scale.




Published 26 January 2013

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