Craig Churchill hands over the first copy of the Microinsurance Compendium Vol. II to Princess Máxima
Protecting the poor - A microinsurance compenium, Volume II

New reference work for microinsurance

The second volume of “Protecting the poor – A microinsurance compendium” was launched at the 2012 Research Conference on Microinsurance, held at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

The 2012 Research Conference on Microinsurance, which took place at the University of Twente in the Netherlands from 11 to 13 April, was attended by 150 participants from around the world. During the conference, the ILO and the Munich Re Foundation launched the second volume of the Microinsurance Compendium.

The event was organised by the University of Twente in collaboration with the Microinsurance Network, the Munich Re Foundation, the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk (USA), DIW (Germany), the University of Mannheim (Germany), the ILO (Switzerland), ADA (Luxembourg) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.It provided a platform for in-depth academic discussions as a complement and follow-up to the annual International Microinsurance Conferences. Around 50 speakers, mainly with an academic background, presented their findings. The three main plenary sessions focused on the topics of client value, a weather index for agricultural risks and health insurance. A special session organised for young academic researchers provided a platform for presenting new research projects and obtaining feedback and advice on how to overcome potential challenges in their research approaches.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, opened the conference. In her speech, she pointed out the importance of understanding why people buy microinsurance, and how it impacts their livelihoods. She commented: “One of my favourite subjects is more and comparable data on all aspects of microinsurance and its impact. Insurance providers need more data so that they can price risks and develop the right products and make good investments. And better and more complete data will help authorities develop effective policies and programmes.” In her role as United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate on “Inclusive Finance for Development”, to which she was appointed in 2009, Princess Máxima promotes worldwide access to financial services. Since June 2011, she has also held the honorary chair of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion.

New standard reference work published – Number of microinsurance clients reaches 500 million

Craig Churchill, Team Leader of the ILO's Microinsurance Innovation Facility and Chair of the Microinsurance Network, officially launched the second volume of the Microinsurance Compendium at the opening of the conference. The book was jointly published by the ILO and the Munich Re Foundation. According to recent findings presented in the book, the number of microinsurance schemes worldwide has increased substantially over the past five years, and they now involve an estimated 500 million people worldwide.

"Since 2008, we have seen numerous innovations emerging to overcome the challenges of providing viable insurance services to more low-income people,” said Churchill. “Efforts now should focus on increasing effectiveness so that insurance products can successfully reduce their vulnerability. The Compendium comes at the right time to help insurers, delivery channels, donors and other stakeholders understand what it means to provide valuable risk-management services to the working poor," Churchill added. The results show that Asia – with its two microinsurance powerhouses, China and India, is spearheading the trend, covering roughly 80% of the market.

The Microinsurance Compendium Volume II comprises 26 chapters that cover a wide range of topics including the latest trends within the sector, the contribution microinsurance makes to social protection and resilience building, health, life and agriculture insurance and their distribution, the microinsurance business case and the value microinsurance provides for clients.

Princess Máxima congratulated the ILO and the Munich Re Foundation on the successful completion of the book. “The first volume, published in 2006, was very important for the microinsurance community. Undoubtedly, the second volume will be important, too,” the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development concluded.

International Microinsurance Conference

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World Map of Microinsurance

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Microinsurance Compendium

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Protecting the poor - A microinsurance compendium

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Conference details

> Video of the opening session

> Full speech of Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate on Inclusive Finance for Development

> Interview with ILO's Craig Churchill on the expansion of Microinsurance coverage