First-of-its-kind Report Highlights Enormous Potential for Developing Mutual and Cooperative Insurance for the Poor in India

19 Jul 2017

A first-of-its-kind report on mutual and cooperative microinsurance in India entitled The Missing Chapter of Microinsurance in India: A Diagnostic of Mutuals has been published by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and Insurance Institute of India (III).

This country diagnostic study was conducted as part of the ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy. The 5-5-5 Strategy aims to provide mutual microinsurance solutions to 5 million low-income households, in five emerging markets (India, Philippines, Kenya, Colombia and Sri Lanka) over the next five years. It is hoped that this will equate to 25 million previously uninsured people having insurance cover as a result.

The study found that there are 15 mutual and cooperatives, operating across 13 states, which are providing insurance-like services to approximately 1 million low-income people using risk retention or risk sharing models. The mutual model can be found all over India except for the North Eastern states; most have their presence in rural India while a handful of them also have a presence in some urban slums. Over 90% of the policyholders are women, which makes these schemes very similar if not on a par with other financial inclusion products. A distinct Alternative Risk Management (ARM) model exists whereby mutuals and cooperatives provide solutions (with the provision of services including health education, negotiated services in affordable hospitals, funeral support etc.), which transcend the typical realm of commercial microinsurance.

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South Asia