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Microinsurance: Links to Occupational Safety & Health. Workshop for OSH through provision of MI, MF & Banking Services Cairo, Egypt – December 2009 Jeanna Holtz The Microinsurance Innovation Facility International Labour Organization, Geneva. Overview of Microinsurance Presentation.

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Microinsurance links to occupational safety health

Microinsurance: Links to Occupational Safety & Health

Workshop for OSH through provision of MI, MF & Banking Services

Cairo, Egypt – December 2009

Jeanna Holtz

The Microinsurance Innovation Facility

International Labour Organization, Geneva

Overview of microinsurance presentation
Overview of Microinsurance Presentation

  • What is microinsurance?

  • Evolution & trends

  • Product development

  • Closing thoughts-way forward

Microinsurance is
Microinsurance is…


“…a mechanism to protect low-income people against specific perils in exchange for regular premium payments proportionate to the likelihood and cost of the risk involved”

Microinsuranceis not…

  • Regular insurance products with smaller sums insured and premiums

  • Small insurance companies

  • Just another product offered by MFIs

  • Savings, credit, risk prevention

Characteristics of the insurable poor
Characteristics of the insurable poor

  • Often work in the informal economy

  • Irregular cash flows

  • Manage risks through myriad of informal means, including social networks

  • Limited familiarity with formal insurance

  • May not trust insurance companies

  • Vulnerable to risks…

Valuable, effective MI considers these characteristics

Microinsurance links to occupational safety health

Micro vs. Conventional Insurance

Adapt to needs of target market

Microinsurance roots
Microinsurance roots


Investor interest

Popular insurance by cooperatives

Expansion of Microfinance

Business opportunity by insurers

Extension of social protection

Microinsurance trends
Microinsurance trends

  • MI emerging out of the shadow of microfinance: business and social impact

  • Greater variety of distribution channels

  • Growing interest from policymakers, regulators and insurance companies

  • Increased focus by investors; some evaluate social dimensions

  • Product innovations that provide better coverage to more low-income people

  • Increasing experimentation with consumer education on risk management and insurance

2009 survey results
2009 Survey results

  • 14.7 million people in Africa with microinsurance

  • USD 257 million in premiums received in 2008

  • 2.6% of the population living under USD 2 per day

Microinsurance product spectrum
Microinsurance product spectrum

Credit life

Term life/Personal accident

Savings life

Property insurance

Endowment life


Health insurance


Difficulty & demand

3. Products

Products in greatest demand are least available

Getting started
Getting Started

  • Start simple:

    • Life insurance, linked to loans, easy point of entry

    • Also: accident, disability

  • Potential add-ons (later): income replacement, critical illness, hospitalisation cash…

    • Example: Microfund for Women, Jordan

      • Caregiver product: covers certain costs during illness episode

Considerations to develop microinsurance
Considerations to develop Microinsurance

  • Partnership with insurer, other stakeholders

  • Eligibility

    • Mandatory or voluntary

  • Piggyback or standalone

  • Premium collection timing and mechanism

  • Benefit design

  • Claims payments

  • Client & employer education

  • Risk management and controls

    • Important for accident cover

Checklist for workplace microinsurance
Checklist for workplace microinsurance

  • Medium to large organizations (volume); growing

  • Accidents and deaths are frequent, volatile

  • Win-win for insurer/channel, employer and employees

  • Efficient distribution (easy access)

  • Low transaction costs (enrolment, premium collection, claims)

  • Simple, valued product

Benefits of microinsurance microfinance decent work
Benefits of Microinsurance, Microfinance & Decent Work:

Closing Thoughts



  • Better jobs, safer workplace

  • Protection when accidents occur

  • Employee Loyalty

  • Socially responsible

  • Improved access to financial services

  • Higher loan repayment

  • Profitable business venture

  • Increased productivity

  • Lower absenteeism

  • Employee retention

  • Attract capital

Closing thoughts cont
Closing Thoughts, cont.

Successful products:

Overcome the wariness of customers

Adapt to the socio-economic situation of the poor

Create an insurance culture

Consider social dimensions

Scale up, by:

Start small: Build client interest and trust; organizational competency

Leverage existing distribution channels such as MFIs (efficiency!)

Build on lessons learned

Innovate; add value to products

Manage Risks





Risks: Accidents, Illness, Death, Property Loss, Disasters…

Innovation will drive development

Thank you

Thank you!

Jeanna Holtz

For more information:


or email:


Tel +41 22 799 66 84

Learning about microinsurance
Learning about microinsurance

  • Conducted 24 case studies, which draw lessons from 40 microinsurance providers, including risk carriers and delivery channels, primarily in Africa, Asia and Latin America

  • Case studies are available on www.microinsurancefocus.org

  • Published “Protecting the poor: A microinsurance compendium” with Munich Re Foundation