By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
As technology continues to take the lead across diverse industries, a recent study by a top international agency revealed that mobile network operators (MNOs) are breaking barriers in the insurance sector.
According to a comprehensive research conducted by Munich Re Foundation and Microinsurance Network, it is observed that MNOs have taken the lead in boosting microinsurance penetration across Asia as over 40 million people in the region are provided with microinsurance coverage via mobile phones.
The research that is based is 2013 – 2016 data is part of a series of microinsurance landscape studies which will feed into the ‘World Map of Microinsurance’.
Speaking at the 12th International Microinsurance Conference in Colombo yesterday that saw the launch of the study, Munich Re Foundation Vice President (VP) Dirk Reinhard pointed out that in Asia, technology service providers (TSPs) and their partner MNOs not only provide a delivery channel, but also appear to drive microinsurance development. “They are increasingly assuming an active role in branding, marketing, product design, and in front-end relationships with customers,” noted Reinhard.
The VP stressed that with Asia having over 26 million SIM cards in usage highlights the “huge potential for growth” for microinsurance through this channel.
While, TSP policies across Asia offer coverage for life, personal accidents, health, it was stressed that product innovation remains a challenge. The reason being most microinsurance products have similar features. Majority of the products are noted to be voluntary, include loyalty aspects, and are paid through airtime.