A2ii Newsletter 12/20
Welcome! In this newsletter, we provide you with updates on the work of the Initiative, 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 cancelling or postponing all physical events until May 2021 and exploring the use of virtual formats when possible. Events that are scheduled to take place from May 2021 onwards are currently under review. The A2ii will communicate any changes about 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, by tagging Access to Insurance Initiative on LinkedIn or by mentioning us on Twitter.
The A2ii and the IAIS have held two exceptional Dialogues series: the series on the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and implications for insurance supervisors (six webinars) and the pandemic risks webinar series (three webinars, two of which were open to all stakeholders). Some of the webinar presentations and recordings are available on our website under past events and on our YouTube channel. Summaries can be found on our blog.
Discussing regulatory approaches to digitalisation of inclusive insurance at the International Conference on Inclusive Insurance 2020 | 4 November
The International Conference on Inclusive Insurance 2020 – Digital Edition took place on 2-6 November 2020. The conference opened with the launch of the 2020 Landscape of Microinsurance study, the latest in the Microinsurance Network’s key Landscape series. Four key trends were picked out that set the tone for subsequent sessions: the continued rise of hospital cash insurance, the growing maturity of climate risk insurance, the debate of virtual versus human touch, and finally – concerns around consumer value. The last point would surely resonate with the insurance supervisory community.
On Day 3 Session 9, Hui Lin Chiew from the A2ii moderated a session on “How digitalization can spur market growth: Insights from Egypt, Ghana, and Morocco”. Hosted by the GIZ, the session drew on a White Paper currently being prepared by GIZ and the experience on Egypt, Ghana and Morocco to discuss good practices on regulating mobile insurance. The White Paper itself will provide a tool to support regulators to self-assess the appropriateness of their regulatory and supervisory frameworks for mobile insurance.
Wolfgang Bücker, Head of Sector Programme Financial Systems Development at GIZ, opened the panel by reinforcing the importance of regulatory initiatives in digitalising insurance markets and collaborating with stakeholders in doing so. Andrea Camargo, consultant for the GIZ presented the White Paper, highlighting three dimensions:
i) The level of digitalisation of the insurance value chain allowed by regulation,
ii) The possibility of using innovative providers and business models, and
iii) The level of efficiency and collaboration of the authorities involved.
This set the scene for discussion and reflection among Matilda Strom, BIMA’s Deputy CEO, Kofi Andoh, Deputy Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission (NIC) of Ghana and Mohamed Feriss, Head of Department at the national insurance regulator, l’Autorité de Contrôle des Assurances et de la Prévoyance Sociale (ACAPS).
What is it that makes digital or mobile insurance doable or not doable? The panelists summed up as follows. Flexible regulation that enables new insurance models is key – outdated laws and regulations need to be updated. Cooperation with other authorities and ministerial departments are important for getting things done, as are clarity on which government entity owns decisions in which space and clear regulatory processes. At the same time, regulators need to build capacity to understand digitisation. One way is to be consultative, open and transparent with the industry. The final but critical piece is the strengthening of digital confidence through public awareness of digital technology.
Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab update: November – innovation month for iii-lab teams
After an analysis phase of roughly six months, the four iii-lab teams from Argentina, India, Morocco and Rwanda have now started work on defining possible innovations for their insurance sector.
A2ii and Reos Partners are supporting the teams to adopt a design thinking methodology and ensure that innovations focus on customer needs.
Over five sessions, the multi-stakeholder country teams’ goal was to come up with a handful of prototype solutions to develop their inclusive insurance market – to experiment with and implement on the ground in the next months. The ideas range from awareness-raising campaigns to products for informal workers and improving processes in the insurance industry to better serve its clients.
The Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab (iii-lab) is an international capacity-building programme where 4 countries' teams work on innovative solutions to advance the development of their insurance market. Visit the lab page to find out more.
A2ii speaks at the 3rd Microinsurance Session “Agricultural microinsurance – a fundamental tool for risk management of vulnerable farmers” organised by the Central Bank of Paraguay (BCP) | 17 November
This webinar was a part of a three-event series on microinsurance in the framework of the National Strategy for Education (ENIF). Regina Simões (A2ii) presented on regulatory and supervisory approaches to agricultural insurance, with emphasis on index-based insurance for small farmers. Delfín Benítez (Tajy Insurance Company) presented on Tajy’s experience in implementing the first parametric agricultural microinsurance in Paraguay. The panel was moderated by Christian Tondo, director of the Financial Inclusion Department at the BCP.
Among the participants were representatives of the Central Bank of Paraguay, insurance companies, intermediaries, brokers and MNOs.
The presentations and the recording of the event are available here.
The webinar was supported by the GIZ and the Paraguayan Association of Insurance Companies.
A2ii – IAIS Supervisory Dialogue on Supervisory issues related to closing the retirement protection gap | 26 November
The A2ii, in partnership with the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) organised an A2ii-IAIS Dialogue on closing the retirement protection gap.
Dariusz Stańko (Head of the Secretariat at IOPS), Júlia Čillíková (Chair of IAIS Retirement Income and Pensions Forum, Executive Director for Regulations & Financial Consumer Protection, National Bank of Slovakia) and Miloš Zaťko (Head of Pension Fund Supervision, National Bank of Slovakia) discussed the pensions income gap and the role that supervisors can play in improving income at retirement, short term and long term impact of Covid-19 on pension funds and systems, and the overall supervisory measures and policy considerations.
Participants also heard from Nzomo Mutuku (CEO, Retirement Benefits Authority of Kenya), Shri Pravesh Kumar (General Manager, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development, India) and Juan García Vadillo (Director of Operations, National Commission of the Retirement Savings System, Mexico) who presented informative case studies from their jurisdictions.
For a detailed overview of what came up during the Dialogue, please view the presentations available on our website here.
The next Dialogue will take place on 28 January 2021, and will explore the topic of Accounting Standards/IFRS 17. Keep an eye on our website here for more information and to register for the webinar.
Understanding Data Privacy to Advance Customer Protection in Vietnam, Indonesia & the Philippines | 27 November
On 27 November, the A2ii joined the GIZ-RFPI Asia webinar on data protection and privacy in Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. The aim of the webinar was to discuss insights and findings from the 2020 study commissioned by RFPI Asia in the three countries.
To kick off the session, George Ongkeko, Deputy Commissioner of the Insurance Commission of the Philippines (IC) highlighted the need for regulators to respond to data protection issues due to the rise of InsurTech and data-related risks, particularly in the context of the pandemic. Meelendra Singh, the author of the study, reaffirmed this in his presentation, sharing the impact and incidences of cyberattacks and data breaches.
All three countries have or are drafting comprehensive data protection legislation. Vietnam has a 2019 Decree on Personal Data Protection, a significant update over the previous 2015 guidelines. Indonesia is currently on the way to put the Personal Data Protection bill in place this year. The Philippines’ Data Privacy Act 2012 is the most mature. Singh ended the presentation emphasising that implementation needs to happen immediately, and practical and effective training for companies should be carried out.
Hui Lin Chiew from A2ii presented on the insurance supervisory perspective - how data protection relates to the mandates of supervisors and how supervisory approaches vary according to the legal and market context. The IAIS currently sees data protection as part of consumer protection, cybersecurity, and outsourcing risk. Supervisory approaches reflect this, as insurances supervisors usually build in data privacy considerations into risk-based supervisory frameworks, product approvals, consumer protection and cybersecurity requirements.
In closing, Mr Imansyah, Deputy Commissioner of the OJK Institute and Digital Finance Indonesia, affirmed the importance of the topic to Indonesia. Sharing the example of the Digital Finance education programme in Indonesia, he stressed that moving forward consumer education will be key.
An exciting new partnership between the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and A2ii: Empowering supervisors to improve women’s access to insurance
The A2ii is delighted to announce a new funding partnership with the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). This will be the first time the A2ii has collaborated with SDC and will enable the A2ii to increase its activities on women’s financial inclusion.
Women’s access to formal financial services, including insurance, remains a challenge worldwide for several reasons: Women are generally less financially literate and more likely to be excluded from the financial sector, with products and distribution not being designed to meet their needs. The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have increased this inequality and affected women, disproportionately. The gender gap in digital inclusion further contributes to this divide, which is of particular relevance in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, where digital means of doing business and communicating with customers has gained more importance.
Insurance regulators and supervisors are key to institutionalising a gender mindset in the insurance sector and designing and implementing policies that help build a more gender-inclusive ecosystem for women.
A2ii, through its upcoming project 'Empowering supervisors to improve women's access to insurance' aims at providing insurance supervisors with the knowledge and tools needed to create framework conditions that facilitate better access to high-quality insurance for women.
As part of this project, A2ii will undertake a snapshot review of the current state of women’s access to insurance, effects of Covid-19 the role insurance supervisors are playing in enhancing women’s access to insurance. The project will also focus on capacity building of insurance supervisors to better address the challenges women face in accessing insurance services and advocate for a gendered approach to inclusive insurance. A key part of this effort will be to target women supervisors and strengthen them to step into leadership profiles.
Importantly, the project will enable A2ii to mainstream gender focus in all its activities by taking a gendered lens to our workplan and all our trainings, events and publications.
Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab Incubator | 19 January 2021
Read about the lab processes here.
A2ii-IAIS Supervisory Dialogue on Accounting Standards/IFRS 17 | 28 January 2021, WebEx
This Dialogue will explore the new accounting standard - International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 and implications for supervisors, and it will be open to supervisors only.
The event and will take place at 10 am CET in English (with simultaneous French interpretation) and 4 pm CET in English (with simultaneous Spanish interpretation). It will last one hour and will take place via WebEx.
If you have any questions or comments, please send them to email@example.com
Watch the Dialogues page for more information about this event and to register.
InsurTech – shaping financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Pascale Lamb, A2ii and Tom Herbstein, UK DIT
Delivering financial inclusion is a core principle of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) given its role in eradicating poverty. Africa is particularly impacted, given that half of the population is without access to formal financial services. Access to bank accounts hovers at 40%, while insurance accounts for just 3% of GDP, against a global average of 7%.
However, recent technological developments have led to the financial system becoming more accessible to low-income populations than ever before. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the growth of mobile penetration rates has risen to over 43%, providing a crucial platform for the digital expansion of financial services.
For its part, InsurTech is emerging as a major force shaping the structure of financial services across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Knowledge Hub Highlight
Insurance for Women: Specific Needs and Inclusion
Effective and adequate insurance can empower women by boosting women’s abilities to mitigate risks and manage crises effectively. It has positive impacts on their job productivity, their assets and their health. Insurance helps avoid dependence on traditional risk management mechanisms – such as selling off assets, informal loans or taking their children out of school – when an unexpected event such as a natural disaster or disease strikes, and causes losses. As women are more likely to work in informal jobs, insurance can play a key role in stabilising and increasing their incomes, which can help with the transition out of poverty.
However, policymaking and industry decisions on insurance provision are not gender-neutral. Women and men have the potential to be differentially impacted by financial sector policies and by regulatory and supervisory approaches to insurance. Despite progress in financial inclusion and improvements in financial service usage during the past few years among both men and women, the gender gap still remains. The most recent data show a persistent gender gap of 7% worldwide in accounts in financial institutions, rising to 11% in low-income countries. There is currently minimal data on the gender gap in insurance, but it is unlikely to fare any better than other forms of financial services.
You can download this paper here (published in English and Spanish).
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