Microinsurance, an overview

What do we know about the impact of Microinsurance?

May 5, 2010

Speaker: Ralf Radermacher

Over the last decade, the need for microinsurance as a risk management tool for the poor has been increasingly recognised. So, the sector has been growing, as has the number of evaluations. However, these studies mainly rely on descriptive statistics, thus overestimating the impact of the schemes. So far, little is known about the true impact of microinsurance.

Ralf Radermacher, Director of the Micro Insurance Academy in Delhi, presented the findings of a recent systematic review including 35 impact studies mainly in rural Africa and Asia and reporting the impact of 122 different microinsurance schemes, most of which focused on health insurance.

“Outcome measures need to be streamlined so we have comparable reporting and we understand why things work. Most studies look at ‘whether’ there is impact and not ‘why’ there is impact,” said Mr. Radermacher.

The review shows that microinsurance can increase access to healthcare and financial protection. However, the methodology used is often weak with potential biases.The stock taking analysis conducted by the Impact Working Group of Microinsurance Network shows that there has been a recent shift towards Randomized Controlled Trial evaluation designs. There has also been more diversity in the focus, looking for instance at agriculture and other sectors besides health insurance.

Download Mr. Radermacher's presentation (540.1 KB)

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