Date: September 01, 2017 to June 30, 2019
Grant: USD 77,890 (40% of total pilot project budget)
Target: 24,000 clients
Current reach: 12,500 (Sugarcane farmers), 287 (dairy farmers), 230 (Copra), 150 (rice), 107,000 (Civil servants and social welfare recipients)
There is increasing awareness and recognition that access to a suite of financial services is needed to meet the low-income population’s varied and complex financial needs over their lifetime. In this context, there is increasing acceptance that appropriate and affordable insurance is an important financial service to help people mitigate and manage risks, protect against financial shocks arising out of certain events and protect assets. Appropriately designed insurance can be a useful tool within a wider risk coping strategy.
Pacific Island Countries have some of the lowest insurance penetration rates in the world. In Fiji, the insurance penetration rate is only 12% which is mainly taken up by middle – higher income earners in formal employment.
Most of the low-income households lack any form of protection against adverse events that may befall them. Therefore, these vulnerable segments of the population are often neglected by the mainstream insurance industry given the perception that their risk characteristics are lower than those of the rest of the population i.e. life expectancy low, risk assessments unreliable and since they cannot afford standard premium rates, the income generated from this pool would be very low.
In August 2017, FijiCare piloted an insurance product that offers the benefits of having both life and non-life insurance covers. This is not presently offered by any single insurer in the Pacific. The product will be sold primarily via the private sector, boosting the resilience of employees their ability to cope with a range of events that can cause financial shocks.
Pfip’s grant will allow FijiCare to upgrade its policy administration, financial and claims management systems so that the new microinsurance can be provided efficiently and at a low cost. The bundled insurance has a combined cover limit of FJ $10,000 per insured person for a cost, or premium of FJD $52 per year ($1 a week).
The $10,000 cover offers indemnities for:
1) Life and Funeral (up to age of 65) – FJ $4,000. This will provide a cover for:
2) Personal Accident (up to age of 65) – Maximum FJ $3000
3) Fire – Maximum FJ $3000
The FijiCare Insurance project will pilot and test a pioneering combined (bundled) insurance cover that is primarily targeted at the low- income Fijians households. In its initial launch phase, the product will be piloted with nearly 12,500 sugarcane farmers who will be covered under the bundled insurance package offered by FijiCare Insurance Limited (“FijiCare”).
In the second phase, within six months from launch, the product will be marketed to various sectors (e.g. garment, hardware, tourism, retail etc.) with large
and medium businesses being targeted to insure their workforces, plus other organisations where enough members, employees or professionals exist (associations, unions, co-operatives, etc.) that have a minimum number of fifty members. This “group” approach helps to ensure that a strong customer base can be established that makes the product commercially viable, scalable and replicable across Pacific markets.
The project, which falls within the PFIP Financial Innovation work stream will deliver four core achievements:
The business model aspires to be commercially scalable. This will drive the expansion of the model in Fiji and other possibly expand into other Pacific Island markets. FijiCare has a subsidiary company licenced in Vanuatu called Van Care. It is Fiji Care’s intent to distribute the bundled insurance product in Vanuatu once the product has been established in Fiji and sufficient market share has been reached.
FijiCare Insurance Limited was formed having taken over business operations from the original company Insurance Welfare Society (IWS) in January