Current Status and Issues in Microinsurance in Asia
Focusing on the status and key issues facing the Asian micro-insurance sector, this presentation argues on the need for commercialization of micro-insurance. It states that the poor need a variety of products and services such as, savings, credit or insurance, to manage their risks effectively.
- Enumerates and compares the various micro-insurance products available to the poor, such as those for life, property, endowment, agriculture, and health insurance;
- Draws on specific examples to illustrate their advantages and disadvantages for the poor;
- Taking the example of India, explains the emergence of new micro-insurance approaches, post-liberalization in 1990s;
- To illustrate these approaches further, explains the difference between micro-agent model, non-commercial model and partner-agent model.
Further, the paper lays out the regulatory obstacles facing the micro-insurance industry in India. These include:
- Absence of entry-level insurance category;
- Inappropriate capital requirements for small policies;
- Onerous agent licensing requirements.
Finally, the paper lists ten challenges in commercializing micro-insurance:
- Reducing transactions costs;
- Managing adverse selection, moral hazard, fraud and over-usage;
- Creating an enabling regulatory environment;
- Developing sustainable health, agriculture and property products;
- Overcoming natural resistance and educational barriers;
- Providing reinsurance for micro-insurance;
- Helping states collect useful data;
- Conducting sufficient actuarial analysis;
- Distinguishing between commercial insurance and social protection;
- Getting commercial insurers interested in the low-income market.