RBAP-MABS Shares Microinsurance Experiences of Philippine Rural Banks at the 7th International Microinsurance Conference in Brazil

7th International Microinsurance Conference 2011

The United States Agency for International Development-supported Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program presented during the 7th International Microinsurance Conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from November 8-10, 2011. Organized by the Munich Re Foundation and the Microinsurance Network and supported by the Brazilian Confederation of Insurers (CNseg), the Superintendence of Private Insurance (SUSEP), GIZ/BMZ and Georgia State University, the conference focused on a variety of topics that are relevant to offering appropriate insurance products and services to low-income households.

The RBAP-MABS Microinsurance Coordinator, Ruth Aseron, discussed the advantages of rural banks as microinsurance agents, the strategies employed by RBAP as a technical assistance provider to member rural banks, and the unique approaches and methodologies training banks as microinsurance agents. The presentation also highlighted how the public private partnership between USAID, RBAP, the International Labor Organization’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility, and private insurance companies in the Philippines provided a unique opportunity to cost-efficiently develop the capacity of rural banks to sell, market and service the microinsurance needs of clients in rural areas.

RBAP also developed an online resource portal (www.microinsurance.rbap.org) to provide access to market information for both banks and insurance companies. The portal is designed to assist rural banks to search various microinsurance options and select potential microinsurance partners. Microinsurance providers are able to promote their products and services through this site, as well as receiving client feedback from banks.

Mr. Craig Churchill, of the Microinsurance Innovation Facility, moderated the panel session which included Ms. Serena Guidicelli of  Dalberg Global Development Advisers and Mr. Pedro Baltao SINAFI of Brazil. Ms. Guidicelli provided a macro-level perspective on the successes and challenges in microinsurance sales force development while Mr. Baltao shared practical inputs on how their company trains and provides incentives to their microinsurance agents.

Other conference topics that were of significant interest included technological innovations for increased use of mobile technologies to support insurance applications, information, payments and claims, various initiatives to assess client value of microinsurance and effective management of public-private partnerships.

The event marked the commitment of organizations and experts in achieving enhanced insurance coverage for low-income clients as a strategy for global poverty alleviation. According to research released at the conference, the number of insured low-income people has increased to just below half a billion. With the rapid developments now taking place worldwide to support microinsurance, the organizers hope that the number of insured low-income people worldwide will exceed one billion by the time the next international conference is held in Tanzania in November 2012.