A Risk Management) was initiated to support the governments

A group, dubbed “The Funder Discussion Group of the Microinsurance
Network (MIN)”, has identified seven top opportunities for the funders to
invest in the development of the sector. The group, which includes investors
and donors supporting Microinsurance did several activities to identify these 7
opportunities.

The seven opportunities are:

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1.
Supporting the market development – Some counties like South
Africa, the Philippines, and India have seen the development of markets of
microinsurance because they have managed approaching the situation holistically
and encouraged the distribution channels and insurers to go down market as well
as improved the regulatory environment. There are, however, many countries that
have limited microinsurance penetration, according to recent landscape studies.

The MAP (Making Access Possible) framework of United Nations
Capital Development Fund includes insurance and can be a useful beginning point
for identifying problems as well as opportunities. Another good example is A2ii
(The Access to Insurance Initiative), which emerged from the joint working
group of the MIN with the IAIS (International Association of Insurance
Supervisors). A2ii has guidance and tools for insurance supervisors to
development the market of microinsurance.

At the last G20 meeting, the PARM (Platform for Agricultural
Risk Management) was initiated to support the governments to put together
public policies with risk analysis. The platform was initiated by AFD (Agence
Française de Développement) and is being endorsed by FAO (the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), IFAD (International Fund for
Agricultural Development), WFP (World Food Programme), African Development Bank,
NEPAD (New Partnership for African Development), World Bank, OECD (Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development) and other bilateral cooperation
agencies.

2. Accelerating
innovation to enhance client value and reduce costs – In
recent years, most of the growth has come from the most basic products that are
often embedded in other services like products attached to loans, or products
attached to buying railway or airline tickets, etc.

Additional innovation is necessary to allow the
practitioners to counter to the needs of risk management of low-income
households more effectively and improve delivery models.

Several members of MIN are experimenting with new products
like MicroEnsure. GIZ (the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit),
Allianz and SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) have been
experimenting with remote-sensing for agriculture insurance. Remote sensing,
for your information, is the scanning of the earth by high-flying aircraft or satellite
for obtaining information about it.

In the Caribbean, the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank),
Guy Carpenter and Mercy Corps are pioneering catastrophic insurance coverage
whereas WFP and IFAD are doing a research in order to test types of approaches
of remote-sensing to understand how and if they can be used for index
insurance.

3. Facilitating
information sharing – To take advantage of the lessons and knowledge
learnt, effective approaches need to be explored. The Microinsurance Innovation
Facility of ILO has an essential Knowledge Centre. The CGAP supported Microfinance
Gateway, in addition to this, is a good repository of publications on the
sector. The International Microinsurance Conference, which is supported by the
Munich Re Foundation, brings together several experts each year since 2005 from
all types of institutions and from around the world to discuss the challenges
as well as share experience of expanding services of insurance low-income
people.

4. Investing
in important structures – Several private and public investors are
trying to explore their instruments like guarantees, debt and equity, to
stimulate the microinsurance sector.

5. Building
capacity – A good way to support the development of microinsurance
is building the capacity of more microinsurance professionals. There are three
target group that warrant specific attention –

·        
Multipliers like trainers and consultants

·        
Risk carriers

·        
Delivery channels

The Capacity Building working group of MIN and Microinsurance
Innovation Facility of the ILO are coordinating efforts to support multipliers
and develop training materials to provide courses for distribution channels and
insurers.

In 2008, the Microinsurance Innovation Facility was launched
in 2008 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote as
well as learn the ways to extend better insurance to the poor people of the
country. Several donors have offered additional funding in the later rounds.
These donors include the AusAID and the Z Zurich Foundation.

6. Funding
impact research –  It is necessary
to understand whether and how the low-income group people will benefit from
insurance cover besides learning the viability of microinsurance. The Impact
working group of MIN has developed a guidance tool for experts as well as
researchers to enhance the use of common indicators and to improve the the
quality of microinsurance impact studies to allow the aggregation and comparison
of studies (upcoming). The MicroInsurance Centre was funded by the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation to develop  a
“client math” methodology to understand in a better way if the household of the
insured can handle risks more effectively in comparison to household of
uninsured when crisis occur.

7. Promote
data transparency and data collection – There is a requirement for
additional systematic data collection to improve value for the client and viability
for the provider and to measure the development of microinsurance at regional
and global levels as well as national levels.

With some support from the Microinsurance Network, the
funders including IADB, Making Finance Work for Africa, Munich Re Foundation, GIZ
and ILO commissioned the Microinsurance Centre in order to conduct landscape
studies of particular regions. These data collection practices must be done often
to track trends.