Call for proposals

16th International Conference on Inclusive Insurance - Reaching scale in small countries
2021 - Kingston, Jamaica

To cover subjects that are currently of interest, the conference organisers are calling for proposals on the following topics:


1.      How to reach scale in small markets

Scale is key to reducing costs and increasing efficiency, which is a particular challenge in smaller countries such as small islands states. These markets cover only a small number of clients but do have individual regulatory requirements. This usually does not allow providers to offer the same insurance in several countries under one license. Organisers are interested in strategies to overcome the challenge of fragmented target markets, especially in the Caribbean and Oceania. How can countries cooperate to enable providers to reach scale, e.g. through the development of a common regulatory environment or a common license for inclusive insurance solutions? What are the prerequisites for companies to offer similar products in various markets to increase efficiency and outreach?

2.      Digital solutions for inclusive insurance

There is increased need for innovation in the insurance space, especially with the new opportunities that have emerged as the result of disruptive business models, large amounts of data, new technology, and more channels for engaging users. Digital platforms and new data aggregators are broadening the potential for digital finance services to reach previously excluded clients. The organisers are interested in efficient tools for data collection and analysis (including weather data), risk modelling and their application in developing markets. As part of this topic, the organisers' aims are to link innovative start-ups and established insurers, and to establish how solutions applied in developed markets can be used in emerging markets. In particular, submissions should address the benefit of using the technology or application presented in the submission. The organisers of the conference are particularly interested in receiving proposals where technologies impact risk profiling, pricing, claims processing, designing products, etc.

3.      Innovative distribution models

Efficient distribution systems remain a key barrier to closing the insurance gap. Given severe infrastructure restrictions across many rural regions, distribution challenges are particularly severe. Presentations should focus on rural clients, but may also include other hard-to-reach clients. We invite insurance providers, intermediaries, distribution channels and especially “fintech” firms to present how they can improve insurance distribution in under-served regions. How have these channels been used to overcome geographical, infrastructural and societal constraints? The organisers are interested in case studies covering the set-up of mutually beneficial partnerships and how to manage those partnerships pro-actively.

4.      Coping with climate risk

Insurance generally provides the most cost-effective cover against severe events, while risk retention, contingent credit or shock-responsive loans or reserve funds are usually well-suited to cover less severe events with higher frequencies. Developing effective climate and disaster risk finance solutions requires ‘risk layering’. The combination of macro, meso and micro-level climate and disaster risk finance and insurance plays a vital role in strengthening the resilience of the vulnerable and poor. Following the G7 decision to increase the number of people insured against climate risks, the organisers are interested in understanding the current development of insurance schemes, including parametric (index-based) products, to protect low-income clients/farmers against natural disasters. The organisers invite presentations on how to design and tailor such solutions to meet the needs of the target group. What is needed to scale insurance against disasters? How can insurance along the value chain help to increase protection against disasters? How can solutions on different levels be integrated in a package to provide faster and more reliable responses? The organisers of the conference are also interested in receiving proposals that report on the role of governments in developing solutions or facilitating the expansion of disaster risk insurance (tax exemptions, subsidies, availability of data through meteorological services, etc.).

5.      Regulation

Regulators have a critical role to play in market development. Harmonisation of insurance regulation across countries or greater mutual recognition of the regulation and supervision of other jurisdictions could help providers to reach scale - especially in smaller markets such as Caribbean countries. At the same time, digital technologies are changing the insurance landscape by enhancing efficiencies and lowering costs. It also may bring new risks to consumers. The conference organisers welcome proposals that explore how insurance supervisors can create environments that enable scale and innovation while at the same time protect consumers, and what lessons can be learnt from around the world.

6.      Insurance for micro, small and medium enterprises

MSMEs are the backbone of many developing economies representing large parts of global business and employment. Businesses need to prepare for climate change impacts and safeguard their business continuity. Appropriate risk management including access to insurance is key to catalysing business growth. This topic will consider the insurer business model constraints when serving MSMEs. We invite proposals discussing how insurance providers can meet different MSMEs’ risk management needs. Whereas microbusinesses, that often blur the lines between business and personal needs, are usually the prime target market for inclusive insurance, the distinct risk management needs of larger, aspirational but still small enterprises go largely unmet.

7.      New inclusive insurance products or partnerships in the fields of health or hospital cash, credit-life or funeral insurance

Making the poor resilient against climate change effects needs a holistic approach. Health remains the prioritised risk of people living in emerging economies. In many emerging markets, credit-life products dominate the market. Submissions should explore ways in which products or partnerships can be structured to broaden outreach and coverage as well as how they benefit the target market. Presentations that include details relating to product outreach, in addition to performance indicators, will be given preference.

8.      Consumer education: build capacities of people, societies and institutions

There is a need to build the capacities of people, societies and institutions on many levels, such as the financial literacy of the target market in order to integrate insurance into a broader risk management approach. Risk carriers need a better understanding of the needs and preferences of the under-served client potential. Organisations with successful capacity-building experience on any of these levels are invited to submit applications to present their methods, tools and strategies. We are also interested in attempts to improve the insurance literacy of stakeholders with regard to digitally supported products and delivery mechanisms. Presentations should include a cost-benefit analysis assessing the effectiveness of approaches used.

9.      Looking back: Successes and failures in Inclusive Insurance

Inclusive Insurance now has a track record of about 15 years. Organisers are seeking submissions on successes and failures and the lessons to be learnt from them. How are programmes launched years ago doing today? How and why did it go right or wrong? What would you do differently next time or never do again? What lessons can be learnt? Speakers should have been personally involved in some way in the project they wish to showcase. No documents will be made public without the speakers' permission.

10.   Scientific track – economic analysis of emerging insurance markets

Together with the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk at Georgia State University, the organisers will include a scientific track to encourage rigorous economic analysis of emerging insurance markets. Empirical, theoretical and policy-oriented papers are invited on topics such as:

  • Factors that influence the demand for insurance and allow prediction of uptake
  • Behavioural economics applied to insurance
  • Triggers that substantially increase the use of insurance
  • The role of temporary and permanent subsidies
  • Role of insurance in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Appropriate benchmarks to measure the success of inclusive insurance programmes
  • Contract design to mitigate adverse selection and moral hazard
  • Documentation of welfare impact and customer value
  • Whether informal and formal risk-sharing mechanisms are complements or substitutes
  • Policies to support market development and ensure consumer value
  • Actuarial reserving issues

All submissions intended for the scientific track must clearly indicate how their proposed session is relevant for practitioners, policy makers and/or other stakeholders.

11.     Inclusive insurance responses to the Corona (Covid-19) crisis

Pandemics such as the Corona (Covid-19) outbreak are deepening economic inequalities. Research suggests that the low-income population is likelier to catch such diseases. Without appropriate access to health care and health insurance the impact on people living at the Bottom of the Pyramid will be substantial. In addition insurance providers are facing challenges to keep their operations running and service their clients during lockdown. MSMEs, daily wage earners and other vulnerable groups are searching for ways to cope with the impact. The organizers are interested in submissions discussing the impact of the current corona crisis on (private of public) insurance schemes. How can inclusive insurance be strengthened with meso and macro tools such as pandemic bonds? Which technologies can help inclusive insurance to overcome such crisis and how can governments and supervisors support that process? What are management and business lessons from operating and insurance provider during lockdown?



Submission of proposals

  • Conference sessions last 90 minutes.
  • All proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Steering Committee.
  • Proposals for individual presentations and full sessions can only be submitted through the online submission form available from the conference website. To submit a proposal, please complete the form in English. Please note that no other format can be accepted.
  • You should attach one explanatory document in Acrobat (pdf) format.
  • For submissions under “Scientific track”, an electronic version of the draft paper in Acrobat (.pdf) format must be attached.
  • Presentations must include lessons from both success and failures, as well as business case data reflecting costs and incomes.

Hosting a full session

Selected slots can be allocated to organisations wishing to organise and host one or more full sessions. The hosting organisation will be named in the agenda and conference report as a content partner of the conference.

The content of these sessions must focus on a specific topic addressing specific questions that are relevant to a broader audience. Proposals should include concrete objectives for the session. Submissions based on the details of actual results are preferred. Panellists should ideally represent a broad range of stakeholders and/or have a broad geographic background.

  • The hosting organisation will be responsible for inviting speakers and organising the session in coordination with the organisers of the conference.
  • The travel costs of speakers/facilitators must be covered by the hosting organisation.
  • Up to four speakers/facilitators will be granted free of charge admission.
  • If you are submitting two consecutive sessions, such as for training, please note this in your proposal.
  • Speakers must be registered by means of the online registration form.
  • Speakers/facilitators must be confirmed by 1 September 2020 at the latest.
  • Rooms will be allocated by the conference organisers.
  • Room arrangements cannot be changed.

If you would like to host a full session, please submit a draft outline of the session to the conference organisers using the proposal submission form. The proposal must include tentative speakers as well as the key questions to be discussed.

Individual presentations

Proposals for individual presentations should include concrete lessons learnt and recommendations for the audience. Submissions based on the details of actual results are preferred.

Speakers and facilitators invited directly by the conference organisers will be granted free admission to the conference. Limited funding is also available, upon application, for economy-class travel and the hotel expenses of speakers and facilitators from non-profit organisations (excluding large national and international donor organisations). Applications for travel grants subsequent to the submission of a proposal cannot be accepted. There is no limit to the number of abstracts that can be submitted by an organisation, although travel grants are limited to one speaker per organisation.

For details of travel grants for speakers and facilitators, please consult the information for speakers and sessions hosts. 

Timeline and acceptance

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) update: The timeline and date of the conference may change depending on the latest developments. 

Submission deadline for proposals and draft papers: 15 May 2021

Notification of acceptance: 31 July 2021

Confirmation of speakers for sessions hosted by third parties: 31 August 2021

Submission of draft presentations for the conference: 15 September 2021

Submission of draft presentations and final papers: 15 October 2021

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