Clinton initiative raises more than $8 billion
NEW YORK (Reuters), 25 September 2009
The Clinton Global Initiative gathered more than $8 billion in pledges at this year's summit, surprising its organizers who had worried that the recession would lower the level of support.
The fifth annual summit this year saw 282 pledges of action with a value of more than $8 billion.
The new commitments include plans to increase female employment in Africa, expand microinsurance and distribute vaccines that would prevent cervical cancer.
Read full article
Mutual Benefit Associations in the Philippines help the poor
BusinessWorld Online, Focus Part 1, 24 September 2009
INECITA V. PARANE and her children were on their way home to Payatas from a picnic in Montalban one day in April when their vehicle was hit by an oncoming truck that had lost its brakes. Ness, 38, sustained serious head injuries that led to her death a few days later.
For the Parane family, who lived in a shack above a drainage canal at the metro’s garbage dump, the hospital and burial expenses would have been astronomical. Ness, when she was alive, sold vegetables while Nelson, 49, her husband, drove garbage trucks and slaughtered pigs and sold the meat. They had five children five to 14 years old.
A little assistance, however, came from the KASAGANA-KA (Kabuhayan sa Ganap na Kasarinlan) Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. that extended micro-insurance to members of the KASAGANA-KA Development Center, Inc., a nongovernment organization (NGO) engaged in microfinance.
SKS to extend microinsurance cover in India
Business Standard, 17 September 2009
Hyderabad-based SKS Microfinance, which has launched microinsurance project ‘Swayam Shakti Suraksha’ in partnership with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance to cover its members, has now decided to launch a similar product to cover members’ husbands.
The premium payments for the new insurance product is Rs 20 a week and the sum assured under the policy is Rs 5,000. It also offers additional accidental disability and death benefits. The minimum term of policy is five years and the claim settlements are done at the SKS centre meeting, the company stated in a press release on Wednesday.
“There was a huge demand for this microinsurance scheme from our members,” SKS chief operating officer, MR Rao, said, adding nearly 1.7 million members were covered under Swayam Shakti Suraksha since its launch 10 months ago.
Health Insurance and its availability to the poor
A series of articles have been published by Alternatives Internationales which focus on health insurance and its availability to the poor. Included for example is an interview with Pascal Brouillet (health economist and member of the Agence française de développement), and an article questioning Mexico's universal health coverage. All the articles are in French.
Click here to see them all
Rainy Day Blues (Microloans Vs. Microinsurance)
Time Magazine, 11 September 2009
It's been more than 30 years since microfinance began its fantastic rise, spreading billions of dollars in credit to hundreds of millions of overlooked borrowers around the world. Insurance is the next big promise of financial services for the poor. But there aren't as many takers.
This article from Time magazine looks into the reasons why selling insurance to the poor is proving to be much more difficult than credit ever was.
Read full article
Women emerging as star insurance agents in India
Live Mint, 10 September 2009
Women are emerging as choice hires for private life insurers that are starting to expand in the rural hinterland after concentrating on the cities for much of the duration of their existence.
India in 2000 dismantled the 44-year monopoly of Life Insurance Corp. of India Ltd (LIC), allowing private insurance companies, including joint ventures with foreign partners holding a maximum of 26% stake.
Twenty-two life insurance firms are now competing in the market of 1.1 billion people, where insurance penetration was just 4.1% as of 2006-07, according to the Investment Commission of India website.
The opening up of the sector has helped break the gender barrier in a profession that was dominated by men. Insurance firms say rural women are hard-working, good at sales talk and persuasive skills, and make for ideal insurance agents. And they are, according to T.R. Ramachandran, chief executive of Aviva Life Insurance Co. India Ltd, far more productive than men.
Read full article
Health insurance for low income earners in Nigeria
NEXT, 7 September 2009
Following the World Health Organization's findings that community health insurance is the most appropriate means of financing access to quality healthcare, a host of healthcare providers will be gathering, next week, to discuss how to strengthen this form of micro-health insurance.
Those to partake in the meeting include health maintenance organizations, international micro-insurance schemes, doctors, banks and government agencies.
Wale Alabi, the coordinator of the Conference which will hold on September 16 in Lagos, says that many researches have shown that out-of-pocket health expenditure costs about 60 per cent of the household incomes, making it difficult for families.
Read full article
Ethiopian State Insurance Frim gets the Thumbs Up for New Policies
Addis Fortune, 8 September 2009
The Ethiopian Insurance Corporation (EIC) got a verbal go ahead from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) to start agricultural insurance coverage for coffee, tea and cotton; trade fairs and bazaars will also be getting their first specific coverage from the corporation.
The study was initiated three years ago and considered the risk and marketing angles according to a source. The study tried to find out the risks involved in the production of these groups by talking to farmers. They identified which risks the EIC could cover, and which they wouldn't. The marketing team considered the availability of adequate customers and the ability of those customers to afford to pay the premium.
Each of the four items is covered by separate policies, according to Kifle Alula, agricultural insurance expert at the Corporation. Each will be covered for risks resulting from storm, lightening, flood, hail, frost and fire, excluding forest fire. Problems related to hostilities and theft will not be included in the policy.
“Traditionally insurance has covered those who could afford it,” Kifle said. “The launching of the new products indicates a tilting towards microinsurance.”
Read full article
Global Warming Protection: The Role of Insurance
Allianz, 7 September 2009
Can insurance protect the world from financial losses due to destructive climate change? Walter Stahel, head of risk management research at the Geneva Association, an insurance think tank, discusses what’s possible and what isn’t by answering the below questions.
The Geneva Association represents leading insurance companies. Why are you concerned about climate change?
How will Climate change affect insurance?
Has climate change already had negative impacts on insurance companies?
What other big global changes do you see for the insurance industry?
Can microinsurance help poor people adapt to climate change?
Click here to read answers.
Ugandan Government urged to support agro-insurance
The New Vision, 4 September 2009
Microinsurance should be included in agriculture development packages undertaken by the Government to empower farmers, insurers have urged.
Geoffrey Kihuguru, the Lions Assurance chief executive officer, said insurance could provide a solution for risks that farmers face.
“The insurance industry urges the Government to consider supporting microinsurance linkages that can provide manageable insurance cover for the majority of the population, who earn a living from the sector,” Kihuguru said.
He noted that agriculture was exposed to risks arising adverse weather conditions, pests and diseases.
“The ongoing drought that has hit farmers should be a reminder. These are risks that are beyond the farmers’ control, which insurance can cover,” he said.
Four out of every five households in Uganda derive a living from the agriculture.
Kihuguru explained that the integration of insurance in agricultural production would generate continuous funding from financial institutions and ensure an increase in large-scale production.
Read full article
Booming Insurance Market in India (2008-2011)
PRLog, 3 September 2009
With a huge population base and large untapped market, insurance industry is a big opportunity area in India for national as well as foreign investors. India is the fifth largest life insurance market in the emerging insurance economies globally and is growing at 32-34% annually. This impressive growth in the market has been driven by liberalization, with new players significantly enhancing product awareness and promoting consumer education and information. The strong growth potential of the country has also made international players to look at the Indian insurance market. Moreover, saturation of insurance markets in many developed economies has made the Indian market more attractive for international insurance players, according to "Booming Insurance Market in India (2008-2011)”.
This research report will help the client to analyze the leading-edge opportunities critical to the success of insurance industry in India. Based on this analysis, the report gives a future forecast of the market that is intended as a rough guide to the direction in which the market is likely to move.
Read full article with report findings
LIC launches second microinsurance product
Business Standard, 3 September 2009
The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) today launched it's second microinsurance product - 'Jeevan Mangal' aimed at lower income groups, as well as those living in remote rural areas.
"This policy, a term insurance plan with return of premiums paid on maturity, will be sold only by Self Help Group (SHG) and NGOs," LIC Zonal (South) Manager V K Sharma told reporters here.
On the benefits of the product, Sharma said the microinsurance plan, would offer return of premium on maturity providing for sum assured (risk cover) ranging from minimum of Rs 10,000 to maximum of Rs 50,000 with an optional accident benefit rider on death due to accident.
He said flexible modes of premium payment like weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual have been provided. There is also a single premium payment option, he said.
K G Somasundaram, Senior Divisional Manager Coimbatore Division said the plan was meant for poor people, daily wage workers, people working in unorganised sector and members of SHG.
Read full article
RRDC & Fortis to provide microinsurance in Orissa
Microfinance Focus, 2 September 2009
IDBI Fortis Life Insurance has tied up with Regional Rural Development Centre (RRDC) to offer rural consumers the protection of Termsurance Grameen Suraksha in Orissa. IDBI Fortis, in association with RRDC, has already insured 3,440 rural individuals through Termsurance Grameen Suraksha.
IDBI Fortis Life Insurance Company Ltd, which started its commercial operations from March 2008, aims to sell 10,000 Termsurance Grameen Suraksha (TGS) policies in Orissa during the current fiscal.
IDBI Fortis Termsurance Grameen Suraksha is designed for rural customers with four convenient premium slabs of Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 150 and Rs 200 with corresponding sums assured of Rs 5,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000, said a statement..
“Termsurance Grameen Surakasha can offer financial inclusion to a large number of rural consumers in Orissa that do not have access to extremely essential financial products like Life Insurance. Not only is this good for the families of the insured but it can also offer peace of mind to main bread earners of families who can be insured at very low rates with the help of RRDC” said Mr. Amish Tripathi, National Head – Marketing and Product Management, IDBI Fortis Life Insurance.
Established in 1992, Regional Rural Development Centre (RRDC), has launched its microfinance initiative, Sambandh, in 2006 and is active in community projects in health and hygiene, forest protection, natural resource management, plus agriculture and livestock improvement.
Life Insurance Corporation is to open customer zone in India
The Indian Telegraph, 1 September 2009
Jamshedpur division of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India will soon have a customer zone where policy-holders can come with their problems.
The public sector insurance company has set the first week of October as the deadline for launching the new service. The first customer zone will appear in Sakchi.
Senior divisional manager of LIC, Jamshedpur division, P. Kumaresan said it would be the first such customer care centre in the eastern central zone, comprising of three states — Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa.
“The customer zone will offer solutions to the problems of policy-holders under one roof. Apart from the policy holders of eight branches under the Jamshedpur division, customers of other divisions can check the status of their policies here,” said Kumaresan.
The LIC is also celebrating its 53rd anniversary today and will launch a new microinsurance plan called Jeevan Mangal aimed for BPL familes.
Insurance Market Rakes GH276m (€129m) in Ghana
Ghana Daily Guide, 31 August 2009
The gross premium income of the insurance market in 2008 stood at GH¢276,494,733 representing 36 percent increase over the previous year’s figure.
The total market capitalization and the assets of the industry during the same year was GH¢180,256,182 and GH¢477,388,079 respectively.
Total life premium, on the other hand, stood at GH¢89,243,821, bringing its market share to 32.2 per cent and placing it second to motor.
The afore-mentioned figures were disclosed by the Commissioner of National Insurance Commission (NIC), Ms Josephine Amoah, when delivering a keynote address at the launch of three products of Provident Life Assurance Company Limited in Accra last week.
Read full article
PIC launches Life Assurance Company and three products in Ghana
Ghana News Agency, 27 August 2009
Accra, Aug. 27, GNA - Provident Insurance Company Limited on Thursday launched its Life Assurance Company dubbed "ProvidentLife" and three new products to give its clients a wider variety of services.
The products, ProvidentLife Educator Plan, ProvidentLife International Travel Health Insurance, and 50 Plus Security Plan are tailored to suit the current needs of the society.
Ms Josephine Amoah, Commissioner at the National Insurance Commission (NIC), launching the products, said the market needed more of such innovative products, and advised life insurers to stay away from complex financial products and try to keep them very simple.
She said not only are simple products easier for policy holders to understand, but the risks involved are also better understood by the insurers themselves, and therefore better managed.
"One such simple product which I would urge life insurers to consider is microinsurance. Through microinsurance, the industry can reach the low income sector of the population which has hitherto not been targeted by our insurers.
"If the products are packaged in such a way as to make the premiums affordable, and if the contract wordings are made brief, easily understandable and with just a few exclusions, they will have a greater appeal to the low income and rural households," she added.
Ms Amoah said microinsurance had a great potential and if handled properly could be an effective tool for mobilizing funds from the informal sector.
The Commissioner advised that companies should focus on keeping their costs low, use convenient and well trusted delivery channels, and establish links with financial and other services which had wider distribution networks in order to make microinsurance commercially viable.
Read full article