Insurance has long been used in some countries as a policy tool, but in international development it is still underrepresented. For better or for worse, climate change and the pandemic have put a spotlight on the role of insurance in development. This creates a timely opportunity for stakeholders to work together to translate the burgeoning dialogue to action.
In order to do this effectively, two elements are crucial. Firstly, local policymakers, supervisors and the insurance industry need to come to a joint vision on how insurance can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here, insurance supervisors are well placed to bridge the conversation, given they have a balance of technical, commercial and policy understanding. Secondly, the conversation needs to go beyond rhetoric and draw out concrete and practical solutions.
For both, evidence and data are essential. Supervisors need evidence to convince policymakers about the benefits of insurance to the respective policy area or SDG. Data is also needed to track and drive progress within the industry. By providing concrete metrics, it gives a clear picture of the baseline, as well as what the industry can feasibly aspire to, in contributing to the SDGs.
It is for this reason that this list of KPIs mapping insurance to the SDGs has been developed. This list draws on insurance supervisory experience and development reports as well as CSR reports of leading global insurers. The limited literature so far shows no consensus yet as to where insurance links to the SDGs. As a start, out of the 17 SDGs, this list focuses on nine SDGs deemed as having the clearest and most direct links to insurance so far. SDG 8 is the only SDG where insurance is explicitly mentioned.
The SDG KPIs are divided into 3 categories:
1. Impact story: KPIs illustrating impact or importance of insurance towards achieving the SDG. Supervisors can use these to support advocacy and dialogue with policymakers. The KPIs illustrate:
- Who are the people exposed to risk, preventing them from achieving SDGs, and how many are they?
- What are the risks they face that are insurable, but that are underinsured or not insured?
- How large is the need in human or financial terms? What is the protection gap?
- What evidence is there that insurance can help them cope?
2. Product: KPIs measuring to what extent insurers are contributing to SDGs via relevant insurance products and services. Supervisors can use these to measure the state of play and set aspirations. The KPIs comprise:
- Identification of the target groups and product types that are relevant to the SDGs as a key first step.
- KPIs on the identified products relating to uptake, value, affordability, quality and accessibility of the product concerned. See the ‘Inclusive insurance products’ and ‘Access and outreach’ subcategory KPIs in the Insurance Market Development pillar.
3. Corporate citizen: KPIs measuring to what extent insurers are contributing to SDGs beyond product provision and underwriting i.e. as an investor, employer, economic agent, risk expert, convener and a business overall.