A significant surge in the global demand for health insurance across the world’s emerging economies offers ‘the most significant market and ESG opportunity in decades’ for insurers, according to the international body representing the global microinsurance sector.
According to the findings of the Microinsurance Network’s Landscape of Microinsurance Study 2021 – the only report which captures and evaluates global trends and opportunities within inclusive insurance markets globally – the COVID-19 pandemic has led to identified demand for health insurance for low-income communities, with more than 104 million people now covered globally, in a surge that sees the opportunity for health provision eclipsing the former leading services of life and personal accident insurance.
As a result of the report, which features insight and data from more than 200 insurers across Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, insurance providers are being urged to review their inclusive insurance offerings in order to tap into the commercial opportunities presented, whilst supporting some of the world’s most vulnerable communities and economies with enhanced protection through insurance.
The report shows up to 377 million people are now covered by a microinsurance product in the 30 countries included in the data, with health by far the most popular product, followed by personal accident (36 million), life (29 million) and credit life/loan protection (18 million). However, these figures still represent only 5% of the global population, showing the opportunities for insurers across the world.
CONFERENCE NOW ON
The report is launching at this year’s International Conference on Inclusive Insurance (25-29 October), hosted by the Microinsurance Network and the Munich Re Foundation, where more than 1,000 experts from some 100 countries will discuss and identify ways of accelerating growth and economic viability in inclusive insurance for emerging markets, including the impact products have on everything from climate change to digital health solutions.
Katharine Pulvermacher, executive director of the Microinsurance Network, said: “The report shows the huge impact COVID-19 has had on insurers and low-income communities as the pandemic has heightened awareness of the risk of not being insured, driving up significant demand for health insurance. This shift presents the biggest opportunity for the sector in decades.
“Whilst for many years, life insurance has been the starter product for insurance providers moving into the inclusive insurance market, we can see this has now been taken over by health policies in many countries, presenting a huge opportunity for insurers looking to enter the sector. For example, in Mexico only one in ten licenced insurers were identified as active in inclusive insurance. In Pakistan, Jamaica, Cambodia and Bangladesh, less than 20% were identified as active in the segment. We are encouraging those looking to enter the market to engage with us and the insights of our members to take advantage of the market opportunity, whilst ensuring as many people as possible have access to insurance when they need it most.”
Garance Wattez-Richard, Head of AXA Emerging Customers and a member of the Microinsurance Network, said: “The 2021 Landscape of Microinsurance is a call to action for the sector to make protection more accessible, affordable and relevant to those who need it the most. I invite insurers, large and small, local and international, experts and newcomers in inclusive insurance, to not only read this report but to also take part in the next edition of this annual barometer to obtain an ever more comprehensive landscape.”
Download a copy of the 2021 Landscape of Microinsurance Study, available from Monday, 25 October here.