Briefing Paper

New approaches to social protection: microinsurance

Loewe, Markus
Briefing Paper (8/2010)

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Dt. Ausg. u.d.T.: Neue Strategien der sozialen Sicherung: der Mikroversicherungsansatz
(Analysen und Stellungnahmen 4/2010)

Microinsurance has become a very popular concept in the international development debate. It is an arrangement whereby the members pool their risks, but at contribution levels that even people on low and fluctuating incomes can afford. This concept can be realised for life and disability insurance and even, under certain conditions, for pension insurance and insurance that gives protection against the effects of the weather and natural disasters, provided that professional insurers assume responsibility for product design and risk management, but cooperate in product marketing and customer servicing
with agents who operate close to target groups, such as self-help groups, non-governmental organisations and cooperatives. Health and liability insurance, on the other hand, can be offered only with substantial limitations. Microinsurance schemes help to close the gap that the informally employed often face in the overall set of social protection schemes in developing countries. Compared to social insurance, however, they are only a second-best solution and should be used primarily when the state is unable or unwilling to extend social insurance coverage to informal-sector employees. In no case are they a substitute for social transfer schemes that support the extremely poor.

About the author

Further experts


Cornelia Hornschild
Publication Coordinator

Phone +49 (0)228 94927-135
Fax +49 (0)228 94927-130

Alexandra Fante
Librarian/ Open Access Coordinator

Telefon +49 (0)228 94927-321
Fax +49 (0)228 94927-130