SESSION 06. History (and the Future) of Microinsurance

5. History (and the Future) of Microinsurance

James Jones (Director of the Katie School of Insurance and Risk Management, Illinois State University).
Krzysztof Ostaszewski (Actuarial Program Director, Illinois State University). krzysio@ilstu.edu


Microinsurance refers to all form of insurance products aimed at low-income people, typically defined as those living on between approximately $1 and $4 per day. The types of insurance products may vary, but the products are designed with the understanding of the financial limitations of the target market. Microinsuarance may be viewed as a part of the more general microfinance market, and it has arrived on the global financial scene relatively later than the more established microfinance. Nevertheless, microinsurance has taken hold and it has been growing, often against all odds. In this session, we will present an overview of microinsurance and its history, and then discuss what the future can hold for it. We will provide historical evidence on how microinsurance has supported economic activity and innovation, and what those historical lessons mean for the future.

Main objectives of the session:

  • Presentation of the history and development of microinsurance.
  • Comparison of the challenges of microinsurance versus the challenges of more traditional insurance markets.
  • Historical examples of importance of microinsurance for economic activity and innovation.
  • Discussion on the future of microinsurance.