Partnerships in Microinsurance – Insurers look to next steps

December 5, 2011

Good partnerships have been identified as one of the key factors in the success of a microinsurance program. Insurance providers in consultation with Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) gathered last week to discuss the challenges to microinsurance development in Fiji.

This session follows from a recent workshop presenting the results of the microinsurance demand survey. The insurance providers identified six major challenges or constraints in introducing microinsurance in Fiji, these include: product design and insurance risk management; marketing strategy; efficient claims payment; premium collection; client education and distribution, i.e. reaching the target market.

To address the issue of distribution the group then explored strategic partnerships models. Successful global case studies where partnerships between insurer and distribution channels (mobile money providers, agents etc.) were evaluated and discussed as possible opportunities for the insurance providers in Fiji to emulate.

Sanjeev Jain, a representative from Life Insurance Corporation of India, indicated that “the importance of participation of intermediaries and partners needs to be provided impetus. A close liaison and understanding, as well as objective alignment between the partnering organizations shall not only make the project successful but also help the society at large”.

A key challenge in microinsurance is selling achieving scale. Barry Maher, an ILO microinsurance Fellow based in Fiji, said that “with assistance from PFIP and its partners, the insurance providers can now look to enter into partnerships with organisations with outreach into the low-income communities. They can look to leverage the networks and relationships these partner organisations have with their clients in order to achieve such scale”.

However, success in a partnership is defined by the ability of the partners to innovate within it and change as and when needed. At the heart of it all is of course the clients!

PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme helping to provide sustainable financial services to low income households. It is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and operates from the UNDP Pacific Centre.