Insurance & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


10:14 AM
Connect Directly

Mobile Microinsurance Emerges in Low-Income Countries

In an effort to drive customer loyalty, mobile network operators look to low-income countries for microinsurance product deployment.

Global launches for mobile microinsurance (MMI) products have significantly increased over the past three years, specifically in low-income countries, according to research from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). The focus of these deployments has shifted from lower-middle-income countries to a range of low-income nations.

The CGAP study showed immense growth in the number of new MMI products in health, accident, life, travel, cattle and crop insurance. With the exception of 2009, product offerings grew each year, from two in 2006 to fifteen by August 2013.

[ 6 Life Insurance Customer Experience Leaders. ]

Early MMI deployments were primarily concentrated in South Africa and East Asia. Since 2010, two-third of new MMI products have been launched across a broader range of low-income countries. Fifty-four percent occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa, 23% in South Asia and 20% in the East Asian and Pacific regions. Just three products launched in Latin America and none made their way to North Africa, Central Asia or Eastern Europe.

The recent wave of activity in low-income regions appears to be driven by mobile network operators (MNOs) seeking to build customer loyalty. A third of these deployments is performed by MNOs and insurers, respectively. Banks, governments, donors and third parties complete the remainder.

The increased additions to the ecosystem of digital financial products to low-income countries represent a new phase in microinsurance provision. Collection of premiums is a longtime problem in this sector, as many members in the target market have low incomes and unpredictable cash flow. They also are spread throughout remote locations and have little access to financial service payment mechanism. Most members use the mobile channel for payment reminders and self-payments.

[ Quality Customer Communications: Marrying the Old with the New. ]

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters