1st International Microinsurance Conference 2005
18 - 20 October 2005, Munich/Hohenkammer, Germany
Making Insurance Work for the Poor: Current Practices and Lessons Learnt
Microinsurances against poverty: The need is great, but these tools have so far been accessible only to a small number of people.
The challenges in this area are many. Premium income is low and administration costs money – these are the main reasons why commercial insurers have little interest in this market. The number of people affected is high, and it is particularly the people from developing countries who are exposed to extreme natural perils.
Reaching these people directly is difficult, however. And the benefit of insurance as a means of saving is often misunderstood: why isn't the premium reimbursed if no claims are made? How to build up the infrastructure to reach the people? Administration cost: can it be reduced?
With regard to legislation: How can policyholders be protected against fraud? How must existing laws be changed in order to allow microinsurance companies to be set up in the first place? Should entire regions be safeguarded in the form of weather derivatives or catastrophe bonds? Questions of reinsurability are also open.
From 18 to 20 October 2005, the Munich Re Foundation held the Microinsurance Conference 2005 "Making Insurance Work for the Poor: Current Practices and Lessons Learnt". In cooperation with the CGAP [Consultative Group to Assist the Poor] Working Group on Microinsurance, around a hundred selected experts from international organisations, non-government organisations, development-aid organisations and the insurance industry discussed experiences and challenges of insuring people with low incomes.
The purpose of this conference was to present the main findings from about 20 case studies of microinsurance operations around the world, and to use this forum to discuss the recommendations that are emerging from these experiences. This work has been ongoing for the past two years, and now it is finally time to look at lessons learnt across organizations and reflect on what works and what does not.
What tools make sense? How can existing obstacles be overcome? For certain risk situations, approaches to insurance solutions are developed through exchanges of experts.
The event also aimed to make a contribution to intensifying the dialogue and getting more insurance companies, particularly private ones, on board for this topic.