The landscape of microinsurance in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Landscape of Microinsurance in Latin America and the Caribbean was commissioned by the Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, and was developed by the MicroInsurance Centre. This study also received the support of the Citi Foundation and the Munich Re Foundation.

Over the past decade, it has been widely recognized that insurance provides the low-income population with important benefits which can help prevent individuals and families from falling back into extreme poverty when they are faced with a financial loss.

Much of our knowledge about microinsurance comes from case studies of countries or organizations. While these works can be informative on an entity level, they generate little information about the microinsurance industry as a whole. This makes it difficult to identify gaps in products or coverage as well as trends. Understanding trends can help various parties leverage their activities to address gaps, jump on positive changes, change plans related to areas that are not performing, and learn from trends that are linked to regulatory or macroeconomic factors. Traditional insurance markets in developed countries commonly track trends to generate key market information.

To date, there have only been two large regional quantitative macro-level landscape studies that identified microinsurance trends: the Landscape of Microinsurance in the World’s 100 Poorest Countries (Roth, McCord, and Liber, 2007) and the Landscape of Microinsurance in Africa (Matul, McCord, Phily, and Harms, 2010). The current study is the first quantitative landscape study of Latin America and the Caribbean, although the 2007 landscape study included twelve countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.