Third Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab (2021-2022)
The Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii), supported by InsuResilience Global Partnership and Reos Partners, launched the third Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab - the climate lab - in October 2021. This is the first lab with a topical focus. Relevant stakeholders from the (inclusive) insurance sector will engage in dialogue and mutual learning and develop innovative solutions to tackle one of the greatest global threats of our time - climate change.
The key question
How can we help to increase resilience of the most vulnerable segments in our society against the impacts of climate change through innovative insurance solutions?
Climate and insurance
Insurance, as part of an integrated disaster risk management framework, can strengthen the resilience of governments, businesses and individuals against the impact of natural disasters and protect natural and heritage ecosystems from adverse effects of climate change. Yet, in most developing and emerging economies, insurance penetration rates are low and vast segments of the low-income population as well as micro and small businesses remain excluded from financial protection from natural and climate risks.
The current Covid-19 pandemic has magnified existing vulnerabilities. How can we ensure that the measures that will be implemented to build back better will also increase resilience against future catastrophes, especially natural catastrophes and climate risks? The iii-lab country teams from Costa Rica, Grenada, Zambia and Zimbabwe are working together during the dynamic lab process to address this challenge.
The third iii-lab is taking place virtually from October 2021 – October 2022. The process is split into three phases where each phase consists of a national and an international component. The objectives and timelines for each phase are described below:
- Discovery Phase (October – December 2021:) Participants get to know each other more closely and reflect on pressing issues regarding natural and climate risks in their country. Based on this analysis teams define their focus/innovation areas. All country teams meet in global sessions to discuss the main challenges identified at the national level. Participants share knowledge, practice and experience from different jurisdictions, sectors and perspectives.
- Innovation phase (January – May 2022): Country teams start developing the ideas for the innovations needed in their respective countries and prototype the most promising ones. During an international innovation event all country teams present their prototypes and receive feedback by their peers and international experts. Experience and knowledge is transferred across teams. Each country team leaves with a designed experiment and testing plan to check if their prototypes work in the real world.
- Implementation phase (June – September 2022): The country teams start experimenting, testing and implementing the newly developed prototypes. Peer supporting sessions are held in which all country teams participate. Country teams are able to learn from each other’s challenges in implementation, receive feedback and renew motivation for their implementation.
One year after the first national workshops, the Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab officially comes to an end while the implementation of innovations continues under the responsibility of the country teams. Results of the lab will be disseminated nationally by the country team and on a regional and global basis through A2ii.
Participants in the climate lab are: Costa Rica, Grenada, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Costa Rica: Superintendencia General de Seguros (SUGESE), Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS), BN Sociedad Corredora de Seguros, S.A., SAGICOR Seguros, Pan-American Life Insurance, Aseguradora del Istmo, Seguros Lafise, Popular Seguros Correduría de seguros S.A.
Grenada: Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN), Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry (MoA), Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Climate Resilience and the Environmet, Ministry of Finance, Economic Dev, Physical Dev and Energy (MoF), Grenada Development Bank (GDB), Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA), Grenada Co-aperative League Limited (GCLL), Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association (GCNA)
Zambia: Pension and Insurance Authority (PIA), Microinsurance Technical Advisory Group (TAG Zambia), Ministry of Finance, Insurance Brokers Association of Zambia (IBAZ), FSD Zambia, Mulimi (a social enterprise working with farmers) and Muzika (A non-profit working with small holder farmers), Insurance Association of Zambia, Zambia federation of associations of women in business - works with women farmers (ZAFWEB).
Zimbabwe: Insurance and Pensions Commision (IPEC), AFC (formerly Agribank), Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ), Insurers Brokers Association of Zimbabwe (IBAZ), World Food Programme Zimbabwe (WFP), Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU), Women Farmers Land and Agriculture trust (WFLA), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministry of Finance (MoF)
iii-lab teams pitch their initial prototypes to expert panel
Since mid-March, inclusive insurance innovation lab (iii-lab) country teams from Costa Rica, Grenada, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been working on the national level to develop their initial prototypes, choosing solutions aimed at increasing resilience against climate risks in their jurisdictions.
On 3 and 4 May, teams had the opportunity to present an elevator pitch of their prototypes to a diverse panel of experts, namely Rachel Field (R.K. FIELD, LLC), Hannah Grant (Access to Insurance Initiative), Agrotosh Mookerjee (Risk Shield), Elias Omondi (FSD Africa) and Shilpi Shastri (Winclusivity). The panel was impressed by the brilliant presentations and provided constructive feedback and suggestions which the teams are now using to progress with the development of their prototypes.
· Costa Rica is working on a climate tool called Fu-Turismo that aims at building awareness of climate change in the tourism sector while at the same time promoting risk reduction and coverage solutions.
· Grenada’s prototype, The Grenada Pan Cooperative Resilience Fund, takes advantage of a strong and well-organised cooperative sector in the country. It is planned to develop a mutual risk pool that provides direct relief to farmers and fisherfolk after a declared climate-related disaster.
· Zambia’s prototype focuses on raising awareness of insurance, especially among the most vulnerable in the agricultural sector (youths and women). Their solution proposes engaging with community champions to disseminate relevant information.
· Zimbabwe is developing a bundled product that combines index insurance with other non-financial products and services like agronomic and weather advice. To address low financial education rates, this will be accompanied by an all-stakeholder awareness process.
Next, before entering the implementation phase in June, teams will complete the innovation phase with the development of a prototyping roadmap.
Join the conversation on LinkedIn!
Discovery phase completed
During the discovery phase, the four country teams agreed on the beneficiary groups they would like to serve with their innovations. These include smallholder farmers, fishing folk and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector. In December and January, the teams then conducted interviews with representatives of each group to get a deeper understanding of challenges and needs they are facing when it comes to climate resilience. These interviews helped country teams to identify unmet, unarticulated needs that are crucial to know when creating compelling new solutions.
Participants then met in an international process to discuss the insights gathered from the interviews. Common learnings across countries are that often interview partners were not aware of (future) impacts of climate change, customer-centric products that meet real needs of farmers are not available and hence new partnerships and more proactive governments are needed.
Before teams are now going to start innovating and prototyping on the national level, they dedicated some time to enhancing their knowledge about recent innovations developed to increase resilience by working together in cross-country teams.
Third iii-lab focused on climate kicks off
Country teams from Costa Rica, Grenada, Zambia and Zimbabwe started the programme in October 2021. The members of the country teams include the insurance supervisor, policymakers, industry associations, insurers, brokers, service providers, farmers’ associations, NGOs and development partners.
At the beginning of the 12-month process, it is essential to understand the current reality of climate risk for vulnerable groups in each country. In October and November, the teams put their heads together (virtually) to analyse why so many people in their country remain largely unprotected against climate risk. Starting at the end of November, participants met in international workshops to forge networks across teams and learn about the context in other jurisdictions.
Two main challenges were identified within the country teams. First, vulnerable groups are usually unaware of climate risk finance and alternative means of addressing climate risk. Second, suitable insurance products are often missing, either because insurers do not have the necessary skills and knowledge to develop such products or because they lack data about climate risk for different target groups. When it comes to selecting the beneficiaries for whom teams will develop their innovations, the following have been chosen: smallholder farmers, fishing folk and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector.
As one participant stated, “we still need to learn and understand… and so many things we found we have in common.”
In December and January, teams will continue their learning journeys by interviewing people from the beneficiaries identified, in order to learn more about their lives and how they deal with climate risks. With this input in mind, the teams will be ready to start innovating during the first quarter of 2022.
I really liked how the whole session was so engaging and required us to think out of the box. Interactions with the lab members from other countries was very good as it provided us with time to share challenges and opportunities for innovation.
Four countries selected
Congratulations to all four selected country-teams from: Costa Rica, Grenada, Zambia and Zimbabwe!
The four multistakeholder country teams are embarking on a one-year journey to develop innovative solutions to increase resilience of the most vulnerable segments in their societies against the impacts of climate change.
We are happy to partner again with Reos Partners, who will be facilitating the process, and particularly excited to have InsuResilience Global Partnership as our knowledge partner.
See the announcement on LinkedIn.