Microinsurance that Works for Women: Making Gender-Sensitive Microinsurance Programs

Designing microinsurance to address women-specific risks
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This paper explores microinsurance design and delivery mechanisms that can help poor women manage risks related to health, income generation, old age and death.Women are especially good candidates for microinsurance because their response to risks in different from that of men, and they are often particularly vulnerable. The following attributes should be considered in designing gender-sensitive microinsurance:

  • Affordable coverage for women-specific health problems;
  • Extended health insurance cover for the whole family;
  • Extended life coverage for the death of a spouse;
  • Property and assets insurance, including marital property;
  • Coverage to ensure that children benefit after their mother's death.

Research clearly demonstrates the concerns poor women have in managing risks for themselves and their households. Key attributes of delivery that will make microinsurance more gender-sensitive include:

  • Coverage that is accessible to borrowers and non-borrowers of MFIs;
  • Life coverage that is voluntary and flexible;
  • Gender-sensitive communication, education and marketing strategies deployed by women sales agents;
  • Claims support for women who require assistance in generating required documentation or managing other aspects of the claims process.

About this Publication

By Banthia, A., Johnson, S., J. McCord, M. & Mathews, B.