The first Mobile Insurance Conference closed after two days of intensive discussions on how to overcome barriers and seize opportunities of using mobile technologies to enhance access to insurance of low-income populations. One hundred participants from 26 countries attended the conference.
(Visit the conference website and download the presentations: https://a2ii.org/en/event/save-date-iais-a2ii-cima-mobile-insurance-conf... )
Issofa Nchare, General Secretary of the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets (CIMA), closed the conference stating that mobile insurance (m-insurance) provides a top opportunity for insurance market development. He also called upon insurance regulators to facilitate innovation whilst ensuring consumer protection.
Hannah Grant, Head of Secretariat of the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii), reiterated the need for strengthened cooperation and coordination among supervisors, industries and policy makers, and stressed the importance of flexibility in regulatory frameworks to allow the growth of new business models.
M-insurance has been a strong driver for the increase of retail insurance penetration in regions with very low insurance uptake. The conference highlighted the need for insurance supervisors to balance the objectives of market development and consumer protection.
The discussions revealed that creating flexibility in regulation to allow space for innovation is vital. This applied not only to m-insurance, but the broader leaps being taken in the application of Insurtech to develop markets. To achieve this, capacity building amongst all stakeholders, public and private, will be an important foundation. A common theme in the discussions was that, throughout the insurance delivery process, building consumer awareness and understanding is required for an optimal insurance experience.
Digital technology is changing the insurance landscape by paving the way for new players and business models with the potential to rapidly expand coverage. The discussions during the conference made it clear that there are still many open questions to resolve in this space.
M-insurance cuts across multiple laws, regulations and authorities that extend beyond the insurance sector among them, payments systems and telecommunications. This overlap creates the need for cooperation across these industries, the models of which are still new and growing. The advent of technology has introduced a range of new players, notably technical service providers, and the question remains how to effectively include these new players, while keeping the consumer experience positive.
One of the highlights of the conference is the launch of the new Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) report, “Regulating Mobile Insurance: Status and Regulatory Challenges.’ The report explored the risks and opportunities of mobile insurance, drawing on the experiences of 26 jurisdictions. (Download the report here: https://a2ii.org/sites/default/files/reports/20170214_mobile_insurance_conference_print2520.pdf )
Kofi Andoh, an insurance supervisor from Ghana, shared his country’s experiences on mobile insurance, remarking that “Insurance is a promise which one cannot simply discontinue that in the next month”, referring to some initial short-term loyalty products that were introduced in some markets Andoh also stressed that it is important for regulations to support more than one method of purchasing cover. He further recommended that the most helpful regulatory environment is where the edges of the playing field are clearly marked out and the regulator does not become a player setting premiums and commissions.
Luc Noubissi, chair of the IAIS Drafting Group on the Digital Inclusive Insurance, reporting the work of his team gathered ahead of the conference, stated that: “ Digital technology can help solve inclusive insurance challenges, but gives rise to particular risks and regulatory considerations to which supervisors should respond through a proportionate application of the principles for insurance regulation”. Noubissi invited supervisors to actively contribute to the IAIS Application Paper on the topic, by providing illustrations, recommendations or examples of good practices on how supervisory material may be implemented. “The Application paper is planned to be adopted by the end of 2017 and will provide additional material to mitigate the risks raised by digital technologies in various stages of product life cycle and in value chain”, he concluded.
A conference report will become available in April.
The conference was organised by the A2ii, the IAIS, and CIMA. It is supported by BMZ, DGIS, UK Aid, FSD Africa and Munich Re Foundation.
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Stefanie Zinsmeyer , A2ii Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katrina Borromeo , A2ii Communications Manager, email@example.com
Notes to Editors
Conference website: https://a2ii.org/en/event/save-date-iais-a2ii-cima-mobile-insurance-conf...
Download the A2ii report “Regulating Mobile Insurance: Status and Regulatory Challenges.’: https://a2ii.org/sites/default/files/reports/20170214_mobile_insurance_conference_print2520.pdf
Download the presentations: https://a2ii.org/en/event/save-date-iais-a2ii-cima-mobile-insurance-conf...
Twitter: Follow @a2ii.org #mobileinsurance #MIC2017