Philippine government drums up campaign to insure 40% of population
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 24 January 2010
The number of poor people availing themselves of low-priced insurance policies is not expected to swell significantly even as the government kicks off a high-profile campaign to have at least 40 percent of the population insured.
This was according to Vida T. Chiong, deputy insurance commissioner, who said in an interview the campaign was primarily aimed at creating awareness about the benefits of being insured no matter what one’s income is.
Microinsurance is actually thriving “but the channels are not regulated which means that service is not standardized,” Chiong said. Thus, she expects informal conduits of microinsurance, like mutual benefit associations, to be registered with regulators to ensure that consumers are protected.
According to estimates, only about 20 percent are insured through the formal channels, including the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System.
In a bid to remedy the situation, concerned government agencies, including the Insurance Commission, will launch the National Strategy and the Regulatory Framework for Microinsurance on 29th January 2010.
China's regulator outlines Insurance Industry Goals for 2010
Insurance News Net, 22 January 2010
The China Insurance Regulatory Commission said it aims to strengthen risk management, reinforce market discipline and insurance asset management regulations, as well as expand national insurance coverage in 2010.
Wu Dingfu, chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, said in a statement that 2009 was the most difficult year for the Chinese economy since 2000, but the insurance industry implemented various measures to tackle the financial crisis and recorded a result "beyond expectations."
In 2009, the microinsurance sector had premium income of 230 million yuan (€23 million), providing 136.4 billion yuan of coverage for 8.71 million people.
Click here to read China's 2009 full review and 2010 forcast
IDB grants US$ 3.3 million loan for expansion of microinsurance in Latin America
Insure Reinsure, 20 January 2010
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) recently approved a US$ 3.3 million loan to the Federacion Interamericana de Expresas de Seguros (FIDES) to increase the use of microinsurance in Latin America. Ten companies will participate in the project with the goal of designing and commercialising life, casualty and health microinsurance products.
Of the total amount of the loan, one sixth will be dedicated to Mexico, where researchers have posited that the potential market for microinsurance is some 60 million people.
If you would be interested in learning more about the Mexican and/or other Latin American (re)insurance markets and/or regulatory environments, please click here to email editor and provide your contact information for follow-up by an EAPD attorney.
Grameen Foundation releases new version of Mifos
PRNewswire, 20 January 2010
Grameen Foundation announced today the latest release of Mifos, its award-winning open source software platform for microfinance. Mifos 1.4 is the first version available in Spanish and also provides support for Firefox 3.0 and integration with banking and other systems. This marks a significant step forward in extending an open platform that gives the entire microfinance industry cost-effective access to technology.
One of the advancements is that they have built in greater support for delivering microinsurance services by adding functionality that validates clients' ages.
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Haitian government to receive max CCRIF payout, but country 'horribly underinsured'
Business News Americas, 14 January 2010
The government of Haiti will receive the maximum US$8mn payout from its coverage with the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), but overall the country is "horribly underinsured," Matthew Pragnell, CEO of Caribbean insurance brokerage services group CGM Gallagher, told BNamericas.
Because of the low insurance penetration in the country, there will only be minimal insured losses in Haiti and the event will likely not even constitute a major global insurance loss event, according to CaribRM CEO Simon Young.
"There's a general distrust of insurance companies [in Haiti], because they're just not able to respond on large claims let alone a catastrophe of this nature," the executive, who is based in Jamaica, said, noting that the tragedy would likely push along some efforts in microinsurance from groups like the World Bank.
"Microinsurance will have more urgency, but you have to give the consumer the wherewithal to be able to buy it," Pragnell said. "[Haiti's] going to have to have enormous donor support [to begin recovery from the earthquake]."
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Nigerian insurance company offer a microinsurance product
Nigerian Compass, 13 January 2010
Oasis Insurance Plc has unveiled three new products into the insurance market. The products are Oasis Supreme Motor Insurance (OSMI), Tots to Teens Insurance Cover (TTIC) and Microinsurance Personal Accident Cover (MIPAC).
The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Babatunde Oshadiya disclosed that the introduction of the products clearly demonstrated the company’s commitment to contribute immensely to the growth and development of insurance industry while working towards positioning the company among the best ten in the country.
Micro Insurance Personal Accident Cover (MIPAC) is designed to cover death, permanent disability, medical and funeral expenses as a result of accident and it is available at a very affordable premium.
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INISER, the largest insurance company in Nicaragua initiates a microinsurance programme
INISER, Nicaragua’s oldest insurance company, is a government owned company with 47% of the market share in the country has embarked on an innovative effort to extend insurance products to the poorer segments of its population. INISER is wholly owned by the government and shares with it a strong social mission to offer inclusive services for all segments of the population.
It is currently undergoing a market demand study to understand the needs of Nicaragua’s lower and lower middle classes with the aim of offering appropriate and simple microinsurance products to these segments. 1.1 million of Nicaragua’s economically active population are currently in the informal sector. OF these, 51% live in rural areas. The study includes interviews with clients of a large number of the country’s microfinance institutions and contemplates delivering microinsurance products through some of these institutions.
Source: Barbara Magnoni
$2m microinsurance project launched in Bangladesh
Financial Express, 12 January 2010
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Bangladesh have recently signed a letter of agreement (LoA) for a US$2.0 million project titled 'Developing Inclusive Insurance Sector', said a press release.
Jointly developed by PKSF, the Government of Bangladesh, the Government of Japan and ADB as an inclusive microinsurance initiative, the project is expected to benefit about 20,000 poor households.
The project will reach out to the poor and vulnerable in rural households, particularly women, by enabling them to seek protection from common risks, which threaten their daily lives through affordable insurance coverage.
PKSF will implement the project to be financed by a $2.0 million grant from the Government of Japan through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR).
Philippine govt readies strategy for microinsurance
Business World, 10 January 2010
The Finance department (DoF) will launch on January 29 the national strategy and regulatory framework for microinsurance, in hopes of jumpstarting an industry that will provide insurance policies to the country’s poorest sectors
"We do not have a formal microinsurance industry yet. The event will serve as the beginning of the industry. It will involve all firms that provide [micro]insurance," he explained in a phone interview yesterday.
Finance officials had previously said that the 42 million beneficiaries of the government’s microfinance program are the potential clients of microinsurance schemes. They pointed out that since these people already have access to funds, they are capable of buying insurance products.
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Generali Indonesia search for Microinsurance Manager
The Generali Group ranks among the top three insurance groups in Europe and is ranked as the 30th largest company in the world in the 2007 Fortune Global 500 worldwide ranking. The Group’s parent and principal operating Company is Assicurazioni Generali, market leader in Italy, founded in 1831 in Trieste. Generali is the largest corporation in Italy.
Click here for details of the vacancy
Segment-specific health insurance policy mooted in India
Express India, 8 January 2010
At the national meeting on health insurance and care held in the city of Pune in India by National Insurance Academy and the Institute of Actuaries of India, the idea was mooted that health insurance sector companies roll out health insurance schemes catering to at least three different economic categories.
K Hari Narayan, chairman, insurance regulatory development authority (IRDA), said, "There is a considerable variation in the cost of procedure from hospital to hospital. Recently, one hospital charged Rs 9.38 lakh (938,000 Rs.) for a treatment procedure while another hospital charged Rs 3.38 lakh (338,000 Rs.) for the same procedure. With relevant data, the insurance industry would design products for different types of hospital that can be specific. "
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Inadequate financial education in Ghana results in poor decisions
Ghana News Agency, 7 January 2010
Mr Kobina Amoah, Microfinance Director, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, on Thursday expressed concern about the imbalance of power between financial institutions and their clients resulting in clients making poor borrowing decisions.
He said individuals who are functionally illiterate, first-time consumers are particularly vulnerable and that even middle-income and relatively educated clients who are insufficiently informed about their rights and could be pressured into making poor decisions.
He stressed the need for financial institutions to start engaging in consumer education and protection to safeguard the interest of consumers of financial services and empower them to know their rights and liabilities and make wise and informed decisions
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Brazil could see 33 Million new Microinsurance Customers
InsureReinsurance.com, 28 December 2009
Susep, the Brazilean insurance supervisory agency, predicts that the microinsurance law will pass before April. Susep’s superintendent, Virgilio Armando dos Santos, indicated that however the act ultimately passed may be the version currently before the Congress or a revised law to be proposed by the executive branch, he stated that “the important thing is that microinsurance will be treated as a government priority.”
In a separate development, a private think tank, the Center for Financial Regulation and Inclusion, recently released a study finding that the Brazilian insurance industry could see between 23 and 33 million new customers in the coming years as a result of microinsurance. According to the study, only 30% of Brazil’s households currently have insurance, with the major reasons cited for not having insurance being cost, distrust of the concept of insurance and lack of a philosophy of saving.