Insights on Mobile Network Operators as a Distribution Channel for Microinsurance in Asia

Revealing market potential and trends to promote innovation

The objective of this study is to provide insights into Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) as a distribution channel for microinsurance products and services across Asia. The study shows that there are an estimated 2.6 billion SIM cards activated through various carriers in the Asian region. Two Technical Service Providers (TSPs), BIMA and MicroEnsure, and eight MNOs which carry out distribution of Mobile Microinsurance (MMI) were identified in the region. The total number of lives covered, through these MNOs, stood at a total of 40.3 million by mid-2016, based on available data received through the survey.

TSP policies across Asia offer coverage for life, personal accident (PA) and health (hospital cash). Product innovation remains a challenge with most of the products having similar features. The main features of these MMI products are that they are voluntary, include loyalty aspects, and are in most of the cases paid through airtime. In Asia, both TSPs and their partner MNOs appear to drive microinsurance development and not only provide a delivery channel. They are more and more assuming an active role in branding, marketing, designing products, and front-end relationship with customers.

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