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ICMIF conducts landscape study of the mutual and cooperative microinsurance sector in the Philippines

 

 

Cover page of the Report.

 

The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), an ICA sectoral organization, along with the Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines, Inc (RIMANSI), has published a unique report based on the landscape study of the mutual and cooperative microinsurance sector in the Philippines.

 

The study forms part of a series of studies implementing the 5-5-5 Strategy of ICMIF which is; provide mutual microinsurance solutions to 5 million low-income households, in five emerging markets over the next five years. The Philippines is one of the five selected countries (along with Colombia, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka). Due to its geographical location and topography, the Philippines is susceptible to natural disasters like tsunamis, typhoons, flooding etc. Additionally the country continues to grapple with violent conflict in certain parts like Mindanao. In both cases, the brunt of the disaster is felt by the most marginalized sections of the population. The situation is further complicated by the high incidence of poverty with almost 25% of the population living under the poverty line. The study has found that an estimated 14 million households, thus, will benefit from accessing microinsurance, and bolster the government’s existing efforts towards financial inclusion.

 

The Report mentions that the Insurance Commission of the Philippines had introduced  a ‘new tier for Microinsurance Mutual Benefit Associations (Mi-MBAs) and defining microinsurance products in 2006’, which helped expanding the Philippine microinsurance sector. ‘Microinsurance coverage expanded from a mere 3.1 million before 2008 to 31.1 million by the end of 2014.’

 

The Study sees great potential for the mutual microinsurance sector in the next five years in the Philippines. The microinsurance market is expanding and about 53% of the market still remains untapped. The regulatory framework is friendly towards entry of new players in the sector. The emergence of RIMANSI, the network association of Mi-MBAs, as a technical services provider ensures continuous advisory support for Mi-MBAs. Lastly, the desire of the government to eliminate informal insurance providers provides opportunities to create new mutual organizations or expand membership of existing ones, and technology innovations in internet and mobile phone applications provide opportunities to widen reach and lower costs.