ICMIF’s current strategy of working closely with key insurance media titles to highlight major issues affecting our members has continued with two more features appearing in a special report on Microinsurance and Mutuals in Insurance Day. Shaun Tarbuck, ICMIF CEO, and Sabbir Patel, CFO, were each asked to contribute an article to the special report.
In Shaun’s article Mutual sector weathers storm better than commercial market he discusses the challenges facing all insurance providers:
- the continuing global financial crisis
- pressure on premiums, increased claims
- low returns on investments
- increased regulatory pressure
- higher capital requirements
Despite these challenges, however, Shaun highlights how the mutual and cooperative insurance sector has outperformed the market over recent years with market share growing from 22.6% in 2007 to 25.9% in 2010; much of this growth being due to increases in the life market.
Shaun argues that much of this success may lie with customers’ desire to find a company that they feel they can trust. Shaun highlights how the marketing of a mutual or cooperative’s values can be hugely beneficial with a number of ICMIF case studies from member organisations such as The Co-operative (UK), NTUC Income (Singapore) and PPS (South Africa).
In Sabbir’s article, Mutual insurance companies – what role do they have in microinsurance, he looks at how the cooperative and mutual sector is leading the way in microinsurance in developing countries. The current estimate for numbers of people covered by microinsurance is almost 500 million, however, many are not able to understand the benefits of the cover that they have. Sabbir hopes that the UN International Year of Cooperatives 2012 will highlight the work of ICMIF and our members in sharing best practice and experiences which will, in turn, help alleviate poverty, generate employment and enhance social integration.
Sabbir makes reference to a number of ICMIF member success stories in microinsurance including those of CIC Kenya, Uplift Mutuals (India) and Card MBA (Philippines). All these stories are proof that an approach based on member participation and ownership are critical factors in the further expansion and take up of microinsurance.
- Download the Insurance Day special edition (English) (pdf, 3.12 MB)