Technical innovations in insurance distribution and regulatory implications Consultation Call Report
"Technical innovations are a key issue, not only for financial inclusion, but for the future development of the (insurance) regulatory approach." These were the opening remarks of IAIS Secretary General Yoshihiro Kawai in the A2ii’s second Consultation Call on 24 April.
The call focused on some of the key technical innovations in insurance distribution and their regulatory implications. It was attended by 26 participants from across Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America. The supervisors were asked for their input on the challenges supervisors are facing with regards to m-insurance and the important lessons that regulators have learned about this topic in their jurisdiction.
The IAIS Application Paper on Regulation and Supervision Supporting Inclusive Insurance Markets encourages the facilitation of innovation, but maintains that it should do so while protecting consumers. In the second Consultation Call Hennie Bester introduced two of the emerging microinsurance business models leveraging technical innovations emerging from A2ii synthesis study and their potential consumer risks and regulatory responses. John Owens shared the experience of banking regulators and supervisors that have already been exposed to technical innovations and discussed the role of supervisory coordination in accommodating these new business models. Jeremy leach then introduced a real-case study, where technical innovation gave rise to a scheme that grew rapidly, but overnight was shut down leaving over a million adults without protection – a serious consumer protection issue.
The key take-homes from the call are that insurance supervisors should be ready to regulate technical innovations, cooperate with other supervisors when regulating and monitor and evaluate the client value of these products.