A2ii Newsletter 04/21
Welcome! In this newsletter, we provide you with updates on the work of the A2ii, events and publications, and experiences and learning on inclusive insurance regulation and supervision across jurisdictions over the past month.
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The A2ii taking precautionary measures related to Covid-19
To safeguard the well-being of the A2ii staff and its partners, the A2ii is currently conducting all its activities through virtual formats. As soon as it is possible, we will announce a return to physical events. The A2ii will continue to communicate any changes pertaining to our events on our website, social media channels and through our newsletter.
Covid-19 Insurance Supervisory Response Tracker
We have a special page on our website dedicated to tracking worldwide supervisory responses, insurance news and learning resources (such as webinars).
Feel free to share relevant news with us via email@example.com, by tagging Access to Insurance Initiative on LinkedIn or by mentioning us on Twitter.
Supervisory KPIs Lexicon
The Supervisory KPIs Lexicon is an interactive, searchable directory of KPIs for insurance supervisors across four pillars: prudential soundness, market conduct, insurance market development and the link between insurance and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Background Paper on the project can be found here.
Inclusive Insurance Regulations map
The interactive map incorporates data about existing inclusive insurance regulation and regulation which supports inclusive insurance sourced through A2ii's research, work and interaction with supervisory authorities worldwide.
ICP Self-assessment Tool
The tool is intended to help supervisors assess the level of observance of the Insurance Core Principles (ICPs).
Insurance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Insurance and the SDGs is the A2ii 2021 theme of the year. In line with this, we have launched an SDGs section of our website and published a policy note entitled ‘Insurance and the Sustainable Development Goals – why it matters and how data can help’.
The SDGs pages are dedicated to nine Goals where insurance can play and important role: No Poverty, Reduced Inequalities, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, Climate Change and Partnerships for Goals.
In addition, the role of insurance supervision in sustainable economic development is discussed.
Visit the SDGs section of our website for detailed information of the impact and insurance and our work on the themes.
This two-day virtual event organised by the South African Reserve Bank brought together 65 insurance supervisors from 22 countries across the region.
The IAIS, A2ii and FSI presented strategic priorities and updates on key workstreams. How insurance supervisors in the region have been responding to the impact of Covid-19 in their markets featured heavily on the agenda with results of a recent regional survey presented during the meeting. Claims and lapse rates were shown to have increased, although overall markets have remained stable. Concerns were also expressed about the low level of innovation and persisting low penetration rates, thus increasing the risk protection gap. A range of different supervisory responses were also observed, including activation of business continuity plans, as well as some supportive measures, e.g. premium holidays, the extension of grace periods and enhanced monitoring in certain areas, e.g. business interruption claims.
The regional implementation plan developed with the support of the A2ii was also presented by Suzette Vogelsang, SARB, in her capacity as IAIS regional coordinator. This plan highlights supervisory capacity building needs across the region and is used to inform the activities of A2ii and other partners in the region.
A live poll was conducted during the meeting to capture recent changes in supervisory priorities and emerging training needs. Risk-based supervision, data reporting, and actuarial skills were identified as top priority with respect to prudential and market conduct supervision; whilst market development, microinsurance and consumer education and awareness were cited as the most important topics.
Financial Inclusion Forum First Plenary Meeting | 18 March
On 18 March the IAIS and A2ii Secretariats hosted the first quarterly plenary meeting of the IAIS-A2ii Financial Inclusion Forum (FIF). Tomás Soley, Superintendencia de Seguros Generales de Costa Rica (SUGESE) and A2ii Governing Council member welcomed the 32 participants as the newly appointed Chair of the Forum. Key theme of the meeting was to set the scene for the FIF work starting this year by taking a look back at 16 years of inclusive insurance regulation, global standards and emerging lessons. A2ii’s Hui Lin Chiew’s introductory presentation was followed by a discussion among Members on the impact they have seen from different regulatory approaches in their jurisdictions. Some overall lessons that emerged from the discussion:
- Inclusive insurance remains a key priority for insurance supervisors and the IAIS. According to the A2ii’s inclusive insurance regulations map, 31 insurance supervisors currently have dedicated inclusive insurance frameworks, while many more are currently working on one.
- Aside from dedicated frameworks, other approaches include enhancing overarching insurance regulations to enable digitalisation and improve insurance processes.
- Different approaches may be warranted in different market contexts.
- Some rules that are universal can be applied to the whole sector, but there may be some specific business models that have a particular impact on inclusive segments, such as index insurance. Regardless of whether there is a dedicated framework, it is still important for the regulator to communicate expectations to the industry on the target group and expectations on transparency and fairness.
The topic of “Microinsurance frameworks and proportionality” will be further explored in the next FIF meeting on 1 July, with a peer exchange championed by the Insurance Commission of the Philippines.
A2ii to strengthen regional implementation activities in Asia | 19 March
The A2ii is pleased to announce that from 1 July 2021, the regulatory capacity building activities currently being carried out by GIZ RFPI Asia through the Mutual Exchange Forum on Inclusive Insurance (MEFIN) Network will be transitioned to A2ii. The Transition Plan was formally adopted by MEFIN regulators at the MEFIN Organisational Meeting on 19 March 2021.
The MEFIN Network was set up as a peer-to-peer learning platform among policymakers and insurance regulators in Asia. Its membership comprises Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. It has spearheaded regional capacity building on inclusive insurance for the past eight years. In December 2022, the programme will draw to a close, calling for a transition plan.
The A2ii is excited to build on the good work that has been done while deepening its engagement with insurance supervisors in the region. The transition will kick off with a regional meeting to discuss supervisory capacity building needs in early July, which will shape A2ii’s Asia regional activities. All Asia supervisors are welcome to attend. The A2ii will share more details at a later date.
In the meantime, the GIZ RFPI Asia team will continue spearheading activities with industry players and policymakers on climate and disaster risk insurance business models and products, especially on the use of technology. The A2ii looks forward to continuing its collaboration with GIZ-RFPI Asia and fostering mutual learning. The full transition plan can be found here.
Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) Plenary Meeting | 24-25 March
During the meeting, which was held under this year’s Italian G20 Presidency, the Partnership’s members discussed the GPFI work programme for 2021. The Partnership will analyse the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the financial inclusion of the most vulnerable sections of the population and micro-enterprises. It will identify actions needed to bridge the gaps created by the crisis to build more equitable and inclusive financial systems. The analyses will form the basis of five complementary reports prepared by the group of international organisations participating in the GPFI and a set of ‘best practices’ delivered by the Italian G20 Presidency.
The A2ii is an Affiliated Partner of the GPFI working to ensure that both inclusive insurance and important role insurance supervisors are considered in the discussions and policy outputs. In 2021, we seek to highlight how insurance, especially digitally enabled insurance can contribute to enhancing resilience and narrowing the protection gap exposed by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Invitation to take part in the G20/OECD questionnaire on effective approaches and lessons learnt to protect financial consumers and support financial inclusion in the context of Covid-19
In accordance with its Programme of Work 2021/22, the G20/OECD Task Force will continue to support jurisdictions via further monitoring, data collection and information sharing about the evolution of measures to protect and support financial consumers in the context of Covid-19.
The purpose of this Questionnaire is to gather data and information about the impact of Covid-19 on financial consumers as well as views about effective approaches and lessons learnt in terms of protecting financial consumers and supporting financial inclusion. It builds on the data collection and analysis carried out in 2020.
Responses to this Questionnaire will inform the development of a public G20/OECD report that will be a deliverable to the Italian G20 Presidency.
All jurisdictions are invited and encouraged to respond to the Questionnaire and provide inputs to inform this global exercise. The link to the Questionnaire is here:
Responses to the Questionnaire are kindly requested by 7 May 2021.
A2ii-IAIS Public Dialogue on Index-based Insurance | 25 March
In March, the A2ii-IAIS Public Dialogue was on Index-based Insurance as part of a series of webinars linked to the A2ii’s advocacy theme for the year on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the words of Tomás Soley, Superintendent of SUGESE Costa Rica and moderator for the afternoon webinar, index insurance is an important ally for Governments committed to achieving the SDGs. Regulatory initiatives can ensure the necessary range and diversity of products to support the SDGs and access to insurance in a market.
The A2ii’s Regional Coordinator for Latin America, Regina Simões, presented findings on regulatory approaches from the 2020 A2ii survey on Index-based Insurance. Cynthia Ayero Nsubuga from IRA, Uganda, and Germán Rodríguez from SUGESE, Costa Rica, presented the regulatory approaches adopted in their jurisdictions to enable index-based insurance. Uganda initiated the process as a result of a pilot implemented in 2016 and issued specific index contracts regulations in 2020. Meanwhile, Costa Rica had taken the legal opinion approach to include these products in the governing law on insurance.
During the webinar, the industry representatives urged insurance supervisors to be open to innovation and new forms of insurance. Jakub Nugraha from ACA, Indonesia, presented on their agricultural and health index-insurance schemes, and Carlos Boelstreli spoke on MICRO’s parametric insurance against natural disasters in Latin America.
Over 200 people joined the webinar from 54 countries. For those interested in knowing more about the A2ii´s survey, the recent publication ‘Index Insurance: 2020 Status and Regulatory Challenges’ provides a complete report on its results. It is based on responses of 28 insurance supervisors from 27 countries and 11 industry representatives.
For a detailed overview of what came up during the Dialogue, please view the presentations and recordings available on our website here.
A2ii, UNCDF and Beema Samiti Nepal kick off pilot project on digital and inclusive insurance | 26 March
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), A2ii and Beema Samiti (Insurance Board of Nepal) held a virtual opening ceremony and onboarding session to kick off a collaborative pilot project on inclusive and digital insurance. The project will work on creating a more enabling regulatory environment for digital and inclusive insurance in Nepal, and in doing so, build resilience of vulnerable households and MSMEs to future financial shocks.
Through the project, the three parties will gather over eight weekly virtual workshops covering regulatory, industry and consumer perspectives. Participants comprise eight experienced Beema Samiti officers who are working actively on inclusive insurance. The workshops will begin on 9 April 2021 with a discussion on the rapid diagnostic of Nepal’s inclusive insurance landscape, followed by a ‘pitching day’, where proposed action plans will be discussed with management. Beema Samiti would subsequently implement the identified action plans over one year.
Raju Raman Paudel, the Executive Director of Beema Samiti opened by emphasising the longstanding importance of access to insurance to Nepal – the government requires 10% of premium collections to comprise microinsurance premiums. Mr Paudel rounded off his remarks by encouraging participants to utilise this opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about inclusive insurance.
Maria Perdomo, Regional Manager for Inclusive Digital Economies for LDCs at the UNCDF, reinforced the importance of insurance to strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers, who make up the majority of the Nepalese population. Ms Perdomo expressed UNCDF’s support in contributing its expertise, methodologies and tools from its global programmes on digital financial innovation as well as coordination with on-ground financial sector stakeholders in Nepal.
Hannah Grant, Head of the A2ii Secretariat, noted A2ii’s keen interest to learn about the Nepalese context while sharing emerging global best practices and IAIS guidance. The project is an opportunity to draw implementation lessons, which will be shared for the benefit of supervisors from other countries that are embarking on a similar journey.
International Women’s Day | 8 March
As part of the A2ii’s vision that more poor and vulnerable people have access to and use affordable insurance appropriate for their needs, we are committed to advancing gender equality (SDG 5) in insurance.
Gender, and women’s access to insurance is among A2ii’s focus thematic areas. We support insurance supervisors in their work to remove barriers and advance the women’s insurance market through knowledge generation, capacity building and advocacy activities.
Integrating a gender perspective in regulation and supervision is key to increasing financial inclusion. Insurance supervisors can play an important role in enhancing women’s access to inclusive insurance by incorporating gender perspectives in relevant areas of regulation and supervision.
To celebrate IWD 2021, we shared videos, publications, and news relating to our work in increasing access to insurance for women with the hashtag #a2iiwomen on LinkedIn and Twitter. Click here to read more about A2ii’s work on the topic.
Sustainable Development Goals and Inclusive Insurance – A2ii-IAIS Public Dialogue | 22 April
2020 has seen the undoing of much of the development progress made so far and the repercussions of the pandemic on people’s lives and economies have reignited the discussions around the role of insurance in sustainable development efforts and the 2030 Agenda.
The SDGs represent the common language for setting aspirations and alignment among the insurance industry, supervisors and policymakers. Therefore, more work needs to be done to widen the insurance vocabulary within and articulate how insurance can support sustainable development.
This Public Dialogue will serve as a multistakeholder convening platform to host the conversation on the role of insurance in achieving the SDGs. In which SDGs does insurance, as a risk protection mechanism, play an important role? What is the potential of the insurance sector for boosting sustainable development? What is the role of insurance supervisors in supporting the SDGs?
To open the event, the keynote address will be given by a High-Level UN Representative. We will then hear from a panel of experts, including representatives from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group, AXA Emerging Customers, ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility and the South African Reserve Bank.
This 90-minute webinar will be open to all stakeholders and will take place at 14:00 CET in English (with French and Spanish interpretation).
If you have any questions or comments, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to register.
Entrevista con Regina Simões: la situación actual y los retos regulatorios de los seguros basados en índices
En nuestro blog hay una entrevista en español con Regina Simões, coordinadora de la A2ii para América Latina y autora de la reciente publicación ‘Index Insurance: 2020 Status and Regulatory Challenges’ (Seguros basados en índices: situación en 2020 y retos regulatorios).
Regina explicó algunas conclusiones interesantes de la encuesta de 2020 y respondió a preguntas sobre los enfoques de supervisión y los retos relacionados con los seguros basados en índices, los nuevos productos y el papel de otras partes interesadas.
This interview on the current situation and regulatory challenges of index-based insurance can be read in your language with our built-in translator – click here.
Insurance and the Sustainable Development Goals – why it matters and how data can help
The Policy Note ‘Insurance and the Sustainable Development Goals – why it matters and how data can help’ sets out the KPIs in support of efforts to measure the contributions of the insurance sector to the SDGs, for setting aspirations, and as a basis for dialogue and alignment among the industry, supervisors, policymakers and development practitioners.
Click here to download the report.
Also on Insurance and the SDGs:
Index Insurance: 2020 Status and Regulatory Challenges
’Index Insurance: 2020 Status and Regulatory Challenges’ provides an overview of how the supervisors have been dealing with the challenges related to index-based insurance during the last years, as well as insights from the industry side, especially in emerging markets and developing economies.
It is based on the results of the 2020 index insurance survey, where the A2ii received comprehensive responses from insurance supervisors from 27 different countries, as well as from industry representatives. In this update of the 2018 report on the same topic, issues such as the one of the recognition of index insurance within the insurance legal and regulatory frameworks remains a challenge for jurisdictions.
Click here to download the report.