Programme manager needed at Inter Aide in India
Inter Aide is looking for a Programme Manager with experience in the field of health insurance with the aim of developing of mutual health organisations in Pune and Mumbai with the support of various local partners.
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Nigerian bank launches micro health insurance services
Microfinance Focus, 28 March 2011
Oceanic Bank recently launched micro health insurance services in the agrarian town of Epe in Nigeria through its Oceanic Micro Savings Account (OMSA).
The product will offer low-cost health coverage in partnership with Oceanic Health Management Limited. Oceanic Health provides health care through a network of reputable hospitals strategically located across Nigeria. These health care providers include primary, secondary and tertiary care institutions, amongst others.
Felix Oyakhamoh, Head of Development Finance Department, said, "Oceanic Bank is the first financial institution to combine micro health insurance services with a savings product for microfinance customers."
He added, "Oceanic Bank’s Micro Health Insurance Scheme is designed to ensure protection for its current and potential OMSA customers against health risks and serves as yet another poverty alleviation platform employed by Oceanic Bank to empower small businesses."
CIC Kenya launches Takaful Africa initiative
ICMIF website, 4 March 2011
In January this year CIC Kenya helped launch the first Takaful insurance company in East Africa. CIC Insurance Group will be the lead shareholder in the new Takaful Insurance of Africa after taking ownership of 32% of the new organisation’s share capital.
Takaful Insurance of Africa is expected to grow on the back of large microinsurance potential in the Kenyan market where, according to a new study by the Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri), there is still untapped market potential to the degree of 11 million people.
CIC Insurance group is already one of the largest insurers in the region and this new initiative should help them to maintain their already impressive level of growth which has been sustained at an average of 25% per annum over the last decade.
Nelson Kuria, the Chairman of the Development Committee of ICMIF and CEO of CIC Insurance Group says innovation is key in unlocking the potential of microinsurance in the country. "Success of any microinsurance product depends on whether the premium is designed to accommodate the policyholder’s irregular cash flows, choice of distribution channels that can manage the entire customer relationship, as well as policies that carry limited screening requirements," says Mr Kuria.
Guy Carpenter to develop agriculture microinsurance market
GC Capital Ideas, 22 March 2011
Guy Carpenter & Company announced that it will receive a USD 1 million grant from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to help develop a market for weather, index-based microinsurance in order to benefit farmers in Mozambique, where the majority of the population depends directly on agriculture for economic subsistence.
Under the grant, Guy Carpenter will collaborate with global catastrophe risk experts Risk Management Solutions (RMS) to design and implement new and affordable index-based insurance products for flood and drought risks. RMS will provide the complete risk modelling and risk quantification metrics necessary to transparently price the risk for products that minimise operational costs and thereby facilitate activation of the programme.
IFC will work with Guy Carpenter through its Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF) Programme, established in 2009 to assist the development of index-based insurance for natural disasters and weather risks in developing countries where insurance is rarely available.
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New microinsurance model being proposed in South Africa
Business Live, 15 March 2011
A new microinsurance model is being designed by financial regulators in South Africa to ensure low-income earners have access to appropriate and affordable products.
Speaking at the release of a document entitled "A safer financial sector to serve South Africa better", Jonathan Dixon from the Financial Services Board (FSB) admitted this framework came close to product regulation as it would set out standards to which products must comply.
But he noted that even the Financial Services Authority in the UK was looking into more product regulation to prevent abuse by potentially prohibiting products that posed unnecessary risks.
The Treat Customers Fairly (TCF) framework to be launched later this month in South Africa would broadly regulate conduct in the financial services industry and it effectively looked at each stage of bringing a product to market and then how it was sold thereafter.
"It starts at the product development stage where firms must ask if the products are adding value and treating customers fairly at point of sale," said Dixon. The microinsurance framework intends to make products simple, easy to understand, less complex and with fair terms and conditions.
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Manila Insurance Commission issues rules for microinsurance agents
Business World Online, 10 March 2011
The Insurance Commission (IC) has come up with looser licensing requirements for microinsurance agents in a bid to boost the nascent microinsurance industry.
IC released Insurance Memorandum Circular No. 6-2011 dated February 15, but uploaded to its website only last week, exempting microinsurance agents from the required regular licensure examination for insurance agents.
“The applicant for agent’s license shall, in lieu of the examination, undergo an approved and prescribed microinsurance training course and pass the qualifying examination at the end of the course,” the circular said.
IC issues licenses to agents before they can sell products, and this is renewed yearly. Insurance agents are required to pass a written examination by the insurance regulator.
Microinsurance agents, however, will just have to take a course designed by the microinsurance provider, Deputy Comissioner Vida T. Chiong explained to BusinessWorld in a phone interview yesterday.
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Taking the risk out of subsistence farming in Sothern Africa
IRIN Africa (JOHANNESBURG), 8 March 2011
Farming is a risky business anywhere in the world, but especially if you are a subsistence farmer in southern Africa, where a few weeks of too much or too little rain can wipe out your one hectare of maize and your ability to feed your family in the coming months.
Thousands of small-scale farmers are faced with this scenario after heavy rains fell across much of the region between mid-December 2010 and February 2011. Government and NGO assistance could take months to reach them, if at all, and many will struggle even to afford seed for the next planting season.
Farmers in the developed world insure their crops against multiple hazards, including extreme weather, but in Africa insurance premiums are beyond the means of most small-scale farmers. Insurers are also reluctant to take on the cost and complexity of designing suitable policies and assessing claims in often remote areas.
But what if the premiums were affordable, and insurers did not have to investigate each individual claim but could rely on meteorological data to trigger payouts?
Weather index-based insurance, a form of micro-insurance, has been generating a buzz in development circles because it has the potential to provide a level of social protection to farmers and their families in flood- and drought-prone developing countries.
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