Call for proposals

International Conference on Inclusive Insurance 2021
Reaching scale in small countries

Call for proposals
#ICII2021

The International Conference on Inclusive Insurance 2021 will take place in Kingston, Jamaica, from 26 to 28 October 2021*. Around 400 experts from 40+ countries will discuss and identify ways of accelerating growth in, and the economic viability of, inclusive insurance for emerging markets. The conference will be hosted by the Insurance Association of Jamaica in cooperation with the Munich Re Foundation and the Microinsurance Network.

Background
The last few years have seen the insurance sector in emerging markets enjoy steady growth in terms of client outreach and premium volumes. New technologies are boosting market coverage. The global middle class is predicted to number nearly five billion within the next two decades, but many of these individuals will still lack any formal safety net provided by insurance and will risk falling (back) into poverty. Climate change and the recent pandemic make the situation worse because the frequency of extreme events will continue to increase, and low-income countries with a large proportion of poor and vulnerable communities will be disproportionately impacted.

Representatives from insurance and reinsurance companies, brokers, distribution channels, technology providers, investment funds, international organisations, NGOs and development aid agencies, as well as academics, policy makers and insurance supervisors, from 40+ countries will attend the conference. Delegates will exchange views on current trends and risks in emerging markets and discuss key factors for the successful implementation and maximisation of business opportunities to bring supply and demand to the next level.

Structure and objectives of the conference
The conference will feature around 25 sessions on key topics addressed to an interdisciplinary audience. Additional pre-conference workshops will deal in depth with subtopics. Keynote speeches will look at the latest international, national and local insights. One key work stream of the conference will be how to best close the insurance gap and reach scale in small markets.

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*The organisers are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will make a final decision on organising an alternative digital version of the ICII 2021 by June 2021.

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

Topics

Scale is key to reducing costs and increasing efficiency, which is a particular challenge in smaller countries such as small island states. These markets cover only a small number of clients, but have individual regulatory requirements. This usually does not allow providers to offer the same insurance in several countries under one licence. 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 licence for inclusive insurance solutions? What is the experience in regions that currently have common regulation? What are the prerequisites for companies to offer similar products in various markets to increase efficiency and outreach?
Inclusive insurance is an important risk management tool for emerging consumers. It represents a gigantic business opportunity. However, entry barriers are high and inclusive insurance programmes must be self-sustainable and profitable. The organisers are interested in understanding how and why insurance providers successfully entered the inclusive insurance market. What are the incentives to invest in the inclusive insurance market? How can a long-term vision help to create future markets? What are the key success factors to make inclusive insurance viable? What can conventional insurance learn from inclusive insurance markets? How can creating a social welfare function be combined with creating a profitable business?
Pandemics such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak are deepening economic inequalities. 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 to service their clients during lockdown periods. MSMEs, daily wage earners and other vulnerable groups are searching for ways to cope with the impact of the pandemic. The organisers are interested in submissions discussing the impact of the pandemic crisis on (private or public) insurance schemes, as well as on inclusive insurance clients. What cover do inclusive insurance clients need? What challenges were they facing during the pandemic? How can inclusive insurance be strengthened with meso and macro tools such as pandemic bonds? Which technologies can help inclusive insurance overcome such crises and how can governments and supervisors support that process? How can we consider risk mitigation and loss prevention efforts? What are the management and business lessons learnt from operating an insurance provider during lockdown?
There is an 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 clients who were previously excluded. At the same time, experience has shown that a digital service frequently requires an offline backup and that technical applications have various limitations. The organisers are interested in understanding the extent to which high-touch solutions can be complemented or replaced by low- or even no-touch solutions. What are 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 establish how solutions successfully applied in one market can be successfully transferred to other markets. In particular, submissions should address the benefits and challenges 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, and the design of products, as well as understanding the cost implications of such implementation.
The limited number of efficient distribution systems remains a key barrier to closing the insurance gap. Given the 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, platforms and other distribution channels, and especially “fintech” firms, to present how they can improve insurance distribution in underserved regions. How have these channels been used to overcome geographic, infrastructure and societal constraints? What can we learn from other sectors and how can we partner with other industry sectors to increase outreach? The organisers are interested in case studies covering the set-up of mutually beneficial partnerships, and in how to manage such partnerships proactively.
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. The affordability of climate risk insurance solutions remains a key issue. 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 aimed at protecting 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 we make climate risk insurance affordable? How can insurance along the value chain help 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, mitigation efforts, etc.) and that consider risk mitigation and loss prevention efforts.
Regulators have a critical role to play in market development. Harmonisation of insurance regulation across countries, or greater mutual recognition of the regulatory and supervisory systems in 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. This may also bring new risks for consumers. The conference organisers welcome proposals that explore how insurance supervisors can create environments that enable scale and innovation while at the same time protecting consumers, and that look at what lessons can be learnt from around the world.
Research has shown that women face different risks and place value on different components of insurance solutions than men, and often engage and build trust differently. However, insurers or insurance policies do not always take gender-specific requirements into account. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and women-led small and medium enterprises (WSMEs) illustrates that effective insurance solutions need to be tailored, designed and appropriately marketed to women. The conference organisers welcome proposals aimed at understanding gender-specific needs, use and customer journeys to get value from insurance, as well as partnerships and distribution models that have helped facilitate access to insurance for women customers. What are the gender-specific risk management requirements and how can insurers better understand women’s needs through market research and product design? We are also interested in proposals examining how insurers have engaged with regulators to increase women’s access to insurance.
MSMEs are the backbone of many developing economies that represent large shares 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, who 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. 
Making the poor resilient against the effects of climate change needs a holistic approach. Health remains the prioritised risk for people living in emerging economies. Submissions should explore ways in which products or partnerships can be structured to broaden outreach and coverage, and also consider how they benefit the target market. How can inclusive insurance go beyond existing products and work on more comprehensive health covers, or even savings and pension? What are the ways we can expand our product offering to tackle priorities? Preference will be given to presentations that include details relating to product outreach and performance indicators.
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 underserved 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. 
Reducing this insurance gap is not the exclusive responsibility of the insurance sector. It is also a responsibility of governments and states through their public policies. It is a task that must be carried out in a framework of public-private collaboration. Due to the low existing coverage of climatic and catastrophic risks, states must spend more and more to cover losses to the population, losses that should be insured. That is why the definition and proposals of national strategies and policies for insurance inclusion are needed. Policies and action plans defined at the highest level of government are required. It is important to give a greater priority and level of importance to the dialogue between the insurance sector and government authorities. The organisers invite presentations on how to design a national inclusive insurance strategy. Proposals must be presented that, based on an adequate diagnosis of the gap in each country, define the main topics and actions that the inclusive insurance policies and strategies should integrate.
Inclusive Insurance now has a track record of about 25 years. The organisers are seeking submissions on successes and failures and the lessons to be learnt from them. How are programmes that were launched many years ago doing today? How and why did they 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.

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 and willingness to pay for insurance and allow prediction of uptake
  • Factors that influence the gender-specific value and take-up of insurance
  • Factors that influence the impact of inclusive insurance products
  • Behavioural economics applied to insurance
  • Triggers that substantially increase the use of insurance
  • The role of temporary and permanent subsidies
  • The 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.

 

Conference languages: English/Spanish

Submission of proposals

  • 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.
  • An electronic version of a draft paper, presentation or another explanatory document must be attached in Acrobat (PDF) format.
  • Presentations should include lessons from both successes and failures, as well as business case data reflecting costs and incomes

Proposals can be submitted under the following two categories:

A: Proposals for a full session
The organisers of the conference invite proposals that cover a full 90-minute session. 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 admission free of charge.
  • If you are submitting two consecutive sessions, such as for training, please note this in your proposal.
  • Speakers must be registered using the online registration form.
  • Speakers/facilitators must be confirmed by 1 September 2021 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 speakers and the facilitator, as well as the key questions to be discussed.

B: Proposals for an individual presentation
The organisers invite proposals for individual presentations of around 15–20 minutes, which will be combined with other matching presentations in one session. 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 cannot be accepted after the submission of a proposal. 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 non-profit 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

Please note that the submission deadlines are final.