The ‘Global Microinsurance Benchmark Database’ provides a clear picture of the quality of microinsurance expansion in terms of products, market size, and financial and operational performance, including profitability, cost and efficiency in distribution and claims management.
Efforts that led to the database
In understanding the microinsurance activities around the globe, it is necessary to track the information in an ongoing manner in order to identify changes, growth, gaps, and quality. Understanding movements in the microinsurance landscape on a periodic basis is critical to all parties that want to improve microinsurance products and their delivery.
In order to improve this understanding, numerous discussions took place in the last quarter of 2008 that led to a round table meeting of microinsurance experts at the World Bank headquarters in March 2009. At the round table meeting, participants from the private sector, regional insurance associations and international organizations agreed to implement the database initiative. It then became a collaborative effort led by the World Bank’s Insurance for Poor Program and Inter American Development Bank, with support from the Microinsurance Network and the Microinsurance Innovation Facility.
Who benefits from the database?
The regularly updated database would provide information to different types of stakeholders, including:
Insurers – will compare their positions relative to the benchmarks, which will lead to improved efficiencies and movement towards a more effective implementation
Donors -- will identify interventions with greater potential based on lessons from implementation and an understanding of gaps within the market in terms of geography, products, and suppliers
Supervisors and policymakers -- will gain a better understanding of the low income insurance market and the role they should take to improve its effectiveness
Delivery channels -- will gain a more transparent vision of deliverables from insurers and, as a result, will identify ways to push for more and better products
Researchers -- will gain access to detailed data that will help them analyze results and assist all parties in improving effectiveness
As a result of the market knowledge that will be generated, the above stakeholders will be better informed to make the decisions that will lead to positive changes in the environment. Such changes would result in an increased number of low-income families gaining access to better, more appropriate risk management products, at fair prices.