Displaying all posts under the topic of Insurance
April 5, 2013
The fastest growing part of the financial inclusion movement isn’t a product or even a standard, it’s data and measurement. And if there’s something experts are increasingly agreeing on, it’s that it is illusory to try to define financial inclusion in any precise, universal way. John Gitau says he’s confused, and so am I. How do you measure financial inclusion?
February 8, 2013
Focusing on financial access can sometimes obscure the rationale for doing so. We don’t really care about access to finance for its own sake. The point of providing quality financial services to poor households is to give them an easier, more stable path to prosperity. But what are the pitfalls and slippery spots on that path that we hope to ameliorate?
February 5, 2013
What’s next in financial access in 2013? Bindu Ananth and Deepti George say a focus on measuring and improving quality.
February 1, 2013
Whether the result of variable incomes, liquidity constraints or reduced access to formal financial services, poor households face unique financial constraints that undermine their ability to effectively guard against risk and accumulate meaningful savings. There’s been a lot of research into these questions in the last few years.
One of the big changes observed in discussions over microfinance in the past few years has been increasing emphasis on discussing microfinance, rather than just microcredit. In practice this has meant a lot of discussion about microsavings, with advocates pointing to studies showing greater impacts from offering savings accounts than from offering loans.
Poor households in developing countries face large and varied risks. Many agriculture-dependent households, for example, are at risk of drought- or flood-induced crop failures or livestock deaths. The death of a family member often implies having to fund expensive burial ceremonies, and if the deceased was the household’s primary earner, replacing her/his stream of income is an even bigger problem.
Intuitively, insurance should be highly appealing to poor households for two reasons—they face a lot of risks, and have few resources to effectively deal with negative shocks. But microinsurance hasn’t taken off. That leads to two main questions: Does microinsurance provide the benefits that we theoretically think it does? And if so, how do we overcome the barriers that are preventing people from buying insurance? Of course, the answer to the second is quite dependent on the answer to the first.
April 25, 2012
In most of the developing world, the poor are disproportionately vulnerable to risk. Whether these risks come in the form of the death of a family member, severe illness, the loss of an asset such as livestock, or a natural disaster, these events have a particularly debilitating affect on the poor who are less able to financially absorb and recover from such shocks.
June 16, 2011
When Dr. Martin Hintz of Allianz asked industry stakeholders gathered in Manila in November 2010 for the 6th Munich Re Foundation and Microinsurance Network Annual Microinsurance Conference if their microinsurance programs were profitable only a handful of the hundreds of practitioners in the audience raised their hands.