Microfinance Specialist Michael McCord supports MABS Microinsurance Initiative

Microinsurance specialist Michael McCord conducted roundtable conferences with the country’s microinsurance stakeholders during his visit on July 6-10, 2009.

Microinsurance specialist Michael McCord conducted roundtable conferences with the country’s microinsurance stakeholders during his visit on July 6-10, 2009.

MABS, in collaboration with MICRA Foundation Philippines, strengthened its Microinsurance Initiative by inviting Michael McCord, a leading Microinsurance Expert and coordinating his visit to meet various local stakeholders and regulators during his country visit on July 6-10, 2009. With extensive experience in banking, microfinance and microinsurance, Mr. McCord is recognized internationally as an expert in the microinsurance industry. As the current President of the Microinsurance Centre, Mr. McCord helped create synergies between formal insurance providers and appropriate delivery channels in order to increase access by low-income markets to specially-designed and effectively-managed insurance products. Assisting Mr. McCord is colleague, Mr. Thuta Aung, an independent consultant for microinsurance promotion and social enterprise development.

In his visit coordinated by MABS and MICRA, Michael McCord conducted a series of consultations with rural bank leaders, commercial insurance companies, industry regulators, mutual benefit associations (MBAs) and technical assistance groups that focus on the promotion of access to microinsurance products and services for microenterprise clients and their families.

Commercial insurance providers Ayala Life, Country Bankers Life, CocoLife, Philippine Prudential Life, PhilAm Life, Pioneer Insurance, and insurance intermediaries AA International and MicroEnsure Philippines each participated in separate consultation sessions with Mr. McCord. Inputs were exchanged on progresses made in making insurance more affordable as well as new tips in improving product design and service delivery.

Mr. McCord also engaged in discussions with mutual benefit associations (MBA) TSPI and Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), as well as technical assistance provider RIMANSI. His visit also involved consultations with regulatory agencies Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Insurance Commission.

The consultations by Michael McCord culminated in the conduct of a roundtable discussion on July 10 in Best Western Astor Hotel, Makati. The event’s participants were comprised of leaders and representatives from the rural bank sector, the commercial insurance industry, the BSP, the Insurance Commission, the MBAs, the DOF National Credit Council, technical assistance providers GTZ and RIMANSI as well technical teams of each MICRA and MABS.

Facilitated by Mr. McCord, the discussion sought to provide field lessons and good practices in other countries as well as potential solutions to perceived gaps in product development, service delivery and market education in the context of Philippine microinsurance. A significant outcome of the event was the declaration by participants of their commitment to contribute to the improved design of microinsurance products, delivery of services and the flow of information that can assist in the enhanced capacity of the microfinance industry for microinsurance.

From left, Social Enterprise Consultant Thuta Aung, RIMANSI President Ernie Galenzoga, Microinsurance Specialist Michael McCord, MicroEnsure Country Director William Martirez, USAID Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative Tess Espenilla, MABS Deputy Chief of Party Meliza Agabin, MICRA Executive Director Ernie Gementera, MICRA Officer-In-Charge Magdaleno Bargamento.

From left, Social Enterprise Consultant Thuta Aung, RIMANSI President Ernie Galenzoga, Microinsurance Specialist Michael McCord, MicroEnsure Country Director William Martirez, USAID Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative Tess Espenilla, MABS Deputy Chief of Party Meliza Agabin, MICRA Executive Director Ernie Gementera, MICRA Officer-In-Charge Magdaleno Bargamento.