Financial inclusion through inclusive insurance
Title: Regulatory Framework Promotion of Pro-poor Insurance Markets in Asia II (RFPI Asia II)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Indonesia, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam
Overall term: 2016 to 2018
People on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to financial risks when faced by events such as illness and incapacity to work, or the loss of property. Increasingly significant are the impacts of climate change, which bring a heightened risk from extreme weather events and natural disasters. Insurance cover can offer effective protection, and public and private sector actors alike now realise that even people with low incomes are insurable. Microinsurance products offer a sustainable solution. While insurance markets in Asia have grown rapidly in recent years, many public authorities in the region still lack the expertise or strategies they need to establish a conducive environment for pro-poor insurance markets. The development and implementation of appropriate regulatory frameworks and supervision practices are essential to ensure that these markets develop sustainably, while protecting consumers from bad business practices.
Regulatory frameworks and effective supervisory practices are implemented to promote inclusive insurance markets in the region.
The RFPI Asia II programme builds on the achievements of an earlier programme, which aimed to improve the regulatory frameworks underpinning insurance protections for people on low incomes in Asia. While continuing those activities, the main focus is now on the use of microinsurance to address the heightened risks caused by climate change.
The programme supports the development and growth of the Mutual Exchange Forum on Inclusive Insurance (MEFIN), a peer network of insurance regulatory authorities. The network encourages more productive exchanges of knowledge and experience between its members. Originally established with the assistance of GIZ and the Asian Development Bank in 2013, MEFIN brings together regulators from Asian countries who have pledged to support inclusive insurance as a strategy for poverty reduction in the region.
At the same time, to promote cooperation between regulators and industry associations and to shape the national agendas on inclusive insurance, RFPI Asia II supports regular public-private dialogue processes. These dialogues enable participants from MEFIN countries to share their experiences with respect to innovative business models and supportive regulations.
The programme also facilitates the development of business models with inclusive microinsurance products and efficient distribution channels guided by international regulation and supervision standards.
As members of the MEFIN Regional Steering Committee (RSC), the insurance regulators of Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam cooperate closely with the programme, which acts as the secretariat of the network. The RSC provides advice to different technical working groups (TWGs), which address topics such as regulation and supervision, business models, knowledge management and capacity building. The TWGs are composed of regulators and representatives of insurance industry associations. Both the RSC and the TWGs receive support from the secretariat.
- The MEFIN network members regularly meet and support each other through the different work plans, which have been prepared and implemented by technical working groups on regulation and supervision, business models, capacity development and knowledge management.
- Regulators and key industry players of the MEFIN member countries have learned directly from each other’s experiences of regulation and business models, thanks to the public-private dialogues, which are the network’s major platform for learning and sharing. After the first public-private dialogue which was held only in July 2016, Indonesia and Nepal started applying what they had learning from the experiences of the Philippines. The second dialogue was conducted in Viet Nam in March 2017, where it was complemented by micro-insurance learning sessions and a workshop to kick-start the micro-insurance roadmap process for emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
- In attaining their objectives, regulators and industry players have benefited from the support of the project, with advisory missions and weekly virtual calls. Regulations and micro-insurance products have been enhanced through the expert advice of the project team. To date, 18 factsheets on innovative business models are being shared via the MEFIN website. These business models also provided the focal points for discussions at the public-private dialogues. Regulatory instruments (i.e. the RIA, self-assessment and diagnostic toolkit for insurance for natural disasters) have been developed and applied in the different MEFIN countries.