Insurers Leverage New Technologies and Reinvent Business Models to Reach Underserved Consumers, Report Finds

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) and the Institute of International Finance (IIF), with the support of MetLife Foundation, today released a new report detailing the factors spurring inclusive insurance around the world. It reveals how both traditional and new insurers are breaking open new markets and reaching underserved customers through the use of innovative technologies, business models, product design, and partnerships, enabled by effective regulatory environments.

The report, “Inclusive Insurance: Closing the Protection Gap for Emerging Customers” is based on extensive interviews with commercial insurers and insurance experts who are making inclusive insurance work as a successful business model. With insights from players at the frontlines, the report identifies the main challenges of providing insurance to lower income populations, as well as the solutions companies are using to overcome them. For example, companies are:

  • Using new distribution channels and aggregators – from telcos to farmer cooperatives – to identify and connect with low-income customers
  • Implementing new business models and products to provide and administer the risk mitigation solutions that low-income customers need
  • Deploying “insurtech” innovations and digital channels to connect with, and service, low-income customers

The market for inclusive insurance is vast, largely untapped, and potentially profitable. The confluence of rising incomes in emerging markets, and new technologies that reduce risk assessment and distribution costs, offer an opportunity for more insurers to meet the needs of the estimated 3.8 billion people who remain underserved or unserved.

“Even among people with very little disposable income, insurance can be a vital tool to manage financial risks and mitigate the effects of shocks,” said Elisabeth Rhyne, Managing Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion. “Rising incomes around the world create new market opportunities, making long-term investment in inclusive insurance both profitable for insurers and meaningful in terms of social benefits.”

The inclusive insurance strategies highlighted in the report include eliminating costly verification screenings to identify “exclusions,” offering insurance policies without any fine print, triggering payouts based on verifiable events or data instead of claim submissions, and engineering more frequent payouts to consumers. The report also features examples of protective life and health insurance products designed to serve low-income customers, as well as newer products related to climate change, natural disasters, and food security.

“This report invites us to re-think the concept of insurance and its fundamental role in society. It is our hope that this report enables our diverse membership—particularly those financial institutions not yet active in insurance—to leverage their expanding work with underserved customers to help close the insurance gap,” said Conan French, Senior Advisor for Innovation and Fintech at the Institute of International Finance.

The new report is part of a two-year initiative from CFI and the IIF, with support from MetLife Foundation, to help advance the financial services industry’s ability to reach unserved and underserved populations. The project, titled “Mainstreaming Financial Inclusion: Best Practices,” facilitates learning and action on how financial institutions can respond to the specific challenges of reaching lower income market segments.

About the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) is an action-oriented think tank that engages and challenges the industry to better serve, protect and empower clients. We develop insights, advocate on behalf of clients and collaborate with stakeholders to achieve a comprehensive vision for financial inclusion. We are dedicated to enabling 3 billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector to improve their lives.

www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org

www.cfi-blog.org

@CFI_Accion

About the Institute of International Finance

The Institute of International Finance is the global association of the financial industry, with close to 500 members from 70 countries. Its mission is to support the financial industry in the prudent management of risks; to develop sound industry practices; and to advocate for regulatory, financial and economic policies that are in the broad interests of its members and foster global financial stability and sustainable economic growth. IIF members include commercial and investment banks, asset managers, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, central banks and development banks. For more information visit www.iif.com.

 

 

GNA’s perspectives on 25 years of Ghana’s Fourth Republic

Accra, Ghana returned to constitutional rule and multi-party democracy after a topsy-turvy eight military regimes from 1966 to 1982 without any clear sense of direction for socio-economic development.

Therefore, the 1992 Constitution came into effect on January 7, 1993, and provided the country a sovereign document and clear direction for organising a democratic State.

The country adopted a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the people and designed to ensure probity, accountability and the rule of law as well as ensuring the concept of power-sharing.

The constitution reflects the lessons learnt from the previous constitutions of Ghana including the 1957, 1960, 1969 and 1979, and also incorporated some provisions and institutions drawn from British and United States constitutional style.

Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, a retired Airforce pilot, who for 10 years, presided over the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) won the 1992 presidential election and was subsequently sworn into office on January 7, 1993.

Most Ghanaians remember Former President Rawlings for his charisma, championing the principles of discipline, probity and accountability and leading economic recovery programme during his 10 years as the Head of State under the PNDC administration and eight years as President.

However, his critics believe that he (Rawlings) presided over a society where there was too many human rights abuses while freedom of expression by the media, the judiciary and other members of the public was not fully entrenched despite paving the way for media pluralism in the country.

After serving two terms in office, President Rawlings handed over political power to John Agyekum Kufuor on January 7, 2001.

Former President Kufuor, popularly known as the gentle giant became the second President under the Fourth Republic after emerging victorious in the 2000 presidential polls.

He was sworn into office on January 7, 2001, marking the first peaceful democratic transition of political power in Ghana since independence in 1957.

Former President Kufuor was fondly remembered by most Ghanaians for his courageous decision to take Ghana to the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative, which was intended to cancel the country’s foreign debts, restore the national economy and put it on the path of growth.

He introduced some programmes under the five priority areas, including the pursuit of good governance, modernisation of agriculture for rural development, private sector development, enhanced social services and vigorous infrastructure development,

It was during the administration of President Kufuor that the private sector was touted as the engine of growth and created the Private Sector Initiatives for cassava and palm nut plantations, which was to harness the creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Ghanaian for wealth creation and prosperity for all.

President Kufuor extended credit to small-scale businesses and made the realisation of all-inclusive government possible by appointing Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, the then member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Alhaji Inusa of the People’s National Convention (PNC) into his government.

He also introduced the Metro Mass Transport system, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the development of model senior high schools, the School Feeding Programme and the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP).

After serving two terms in office, President J. A. Kufuor bowed out of the political scene as the Constitution of Ghana demanded.

The Ghanaian electorate, through the ballot box, voted in Professor John Evans Atta-Mills, popularly known as Asomdwee Hene into power as the third President of the Fourth Republic.

Ghanaians liked him for his Godly character and humility, which resonated through his speeches and relationship with his fellow Ghanaians.

President Atta-Mills showed his Godly character by defiantly declaring to the Western countries that Ghana would not legalise homosexuality.

With his vast knowledge in taxation, President Atta-Mills introduced economic programmes and policies, which reduced inflation to a single digit, ensured a stable currency and increased the country’s economic growth rate to 14 per cent in 2011, and Ghana started producing crude oil in commercial quantities.

After President Prof. Atta-Mills’ sudden demise in 2012, his vice John Dramani Mahama was sworn-in as President and led the country into peaceful election on December 7, 2012, which he eventually won.

President Mahama, who continued the policies and programmes of his predecessor, steered the country to achieve some successes, including infrastructural development such as construction of roads, flyovers, community senior high schools, health facilities, electrification projects, and respect for the rule of law.

However, his administration witnessed prolonged electricity crisis, otherwise known as dumsor leading to the collapse of some businesses and allegations of corruption by members of his government.

Ghanaians eventually voted against him in the 2016 general election, and, therefore, ushered-in Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led government into office on January 7, 2017.

Nana Akufo-Addo came into power on the back of many juicy promises, which were outlined in the NPP manifesto, including One District, One Factory, One Constituency, One Million Cedis, One Village, One Dam, Free Senior High School Policy, intention to create jobs for the numerous unemployed youth, stimulus package for collapsing but viable businesses, protecting the public purse and fight corruption.

He reiterated his intention to fulfil those promises during his inaugural address on January 7, 2017 and gave the assurance that, he would not disappoint Ghanaians.

At the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA, last year, President Akufo-Addo told the world that Ghana was determined to realise her potentials and ensuring a prosperous nation.

He said: We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and hand-outs but we want to build an economy that looks past primary commodity and position our country in a global market place.

We’re not disclaiming aid but we do want to discard mind-set of dependency and living on hand-outs, we want to build a Ghana beyond aid.

President Akufo-Addo named his ministers and other appointees in record time but some Ghanaians lambasted the government for appointing 110 ministers, which is the highest number in any of the Fourth Republic government.

The government witnessed some tough moments with some members of the ruling party, the Invincible Forces, attacking some government appointees in an act of political vigilantism, which created insecurity in the country and painted a bad picture of the country in the eyes of the international community.

Government took a bold step to clamp down on illegal small-scale mining, otherwise known as galamsey leading to a six-month moratorium on all operations of small-scale mining in view of the environmental devastation the phenomenon had caused to vegetation and water bodies.

The Akufo-Addo led government rolled out its Economic Policy and Budget Statement in March 2017, which planned to stabilise the local currency, reduce inflation, undertake debts profiling and ensure stable macroeconomic indicators that would create conducive environment for doing business. Government announced some tax cuts for businesses in the budget.

It also rolled-out its flagship Free SHS policy on September 13, 2017, which saw government footing the bills of over 360,000 BECE candidates who qualified for admission into senior high school.

The government also re-introduced the teacher and nursing trainee allowances, paperless ports programme, e-registration of businesses, National Property Addressing System and e-licensing of vehicles, and started putting structures in place to roll out the National Identification System,

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced in the 2018 budget in November last year that, Government had chalked some successes in managing the economy in 2017 with the GDP growth pegged around 7.8 per cent from 3.6 in 2016, reduction of the policy rate from 26 per cent to 20, reduction of inflation from 15.4 per cent to 11.7 per cent as of September.

Mr Ofori-Atta indicated that the country’s debt stock had reduced from 73 per cent to GDP to 68.3 as of September 2017, the fiscal deficit which in 2016 was around 9.3 is projected around 6. 3 per cent by the end of 2017.

However, Dr Eric Osei-Assibey, an Economist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, told the GNA that the programmes instituted by government was brilliant, but the approach it was using to address graduate unemployment would be problematic in the long term.

He therefore, urged government to expand the local economy and provide more incentives to the private sector to expand, in order to absorb the unemployed graduates and add value to the country’s primary commodities locally, instead of exporting them abroad.

He said government should look at innovative ways of generating enough revenue within since budget support from donors had dwindled considerably, therefore government should be more aggressive in domestic revenue mobilisation.

Dr. Kwabena Opuni Frimpong, the General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana also asked government to come clear on how it would ensure sustainable funding of its flagship programmes such as the Free SHS, One Constituency, One Million Ghana Cedis, One District, One Dam, among other promises it made in the 2016 election.

Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, an experienced researcher and expert on governance issues, has asked government to enforce discipline in the country in view of the various acts of political vigilantism perpetrated by the invincible Forces, a group affiliated to the ruling party.

Ghanaians have high expectations and would not take any excuses from the Government therefore it is high time government begin putting its words into action or else the Ghanaian electorate would teach the Akufo-Addo led administration a bitter lesson in the 2020 general election.

It is our fervent hope that the government would mobilise resources from both within and outside as well as adding value to the country’s primary commodities so that Ghana would work again and create the needed jobs for the teeming unemployed youth and ensure prosperity for all.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghanaians urged to love one another

Accra, Cardinal Erasmus Joseph Adjei, Leader of the Worldwide Evangelical Charter, has called on Ghanaians to show gratitude to God for His mercies and exhibit love for one another in the New Year.

He said having love for one’s neighbour was cardinal for successful living as it translated into unity, peace and prosperity.

Cardinal Adjei made the call at the New Year Special Church Service of the Church at Fadama in Accra on Sunday.

He urged Ghanaians to love their country and help to protect lives and national properties.

Cardinal Adjei said it was important that the quality of the environment was improved and devoid of improper garbage disposal, illegal mining and lumbering and building in wetlands and in water course.

We should collectively support the campaign to rid our society of such negative practices since recklessness would only invite calamities on us,” he said.

Cardinal Adjei said the Church established some 40 years ago, had opened 12 branches and that plans were very far advanced to open branches in all the regional capitals.

He said the Church had established a free Day Nursery and that very soon it would establish a basic school that would be free and also put up a hospital to cater for the health needs of the less- privileged in the society.

Cardinal Adjei expressed the hope that Ghana will rise again as the Lord continues to bless us with good leadership and patriotic citizens.

Source: Ghana News Agency

IdanKrom Gomoa Jukwa begins Akwambo 2018 celebration

Idankrom (C\R), The Chiefs and people of IdanKrom Gomoa Jukwa have begun the week-long activities marking the 2018 Akwambo festival celebration aimed at raising funds for the construction of a social Centre.

Nana Obaatan Kweku Aggrey, head of the Akwambo Implementation Committee, told newsmen on Sunday, during a candle light procession through the principal streets of the town that, Idankrom Gomoa Jukwa, near Agona Swedru lacks many social amenities, and that, the people of the area should initiate and execute projects instead of waiting for government help.

He said the committee has decided to impose communal levy on residents and non- residents to help execute the projects and appealed to the youth to contribute their quota towards the development of Idankrom Gomoa Jukwa.

He mentioned the activities for the week-long celebration as a bonfire and football gala among seven clans with a magnificent silver cup and cash at stake, a massive clean�up exercise and a special programme to remember their Forefathers who settled at Idankrom Gomoa Jukwa many years ago.

He said as part of the programme, there would also be a health walk, adding that, the committee has also planned an Apples chewing competition as well as a cooking competition for the youth.

On Saturday, there would a picnic throughout the principal streets, where the people would dance to brass band music before a durbar of chiefs and people, to be graced by the Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan and his Deputy, Mr Thomas Adjei Baffoe as well as other Ministers of State.

He said a Non-denominational Church service would be organized to climax the festival on Sunday and later in the evening a musical concert featuring various artistes including Shatta Wale.

He said the Chiefs and the people are collaborating with the Ghana Education Service (GES) Gomoa East Directorate, to educate the girls on the need to abstain from premarital sex, because of the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy cases among school girls.

He charged parents, school management Committees and other stakeholders in education to help curb teenage pregnancy cases in the Gomoa East District.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Takyikrom now has access to good drinking water

Takyikrom (Ash), A GH?8,500.00 borehole with an overhead tank, has been completed at Takyikrom, a farming community in the Asante-Akim South Municipality, ending decades of struggle with potable water.

The project was funded by citizen of from the community, who are resident outside and have come together to form a social organization called Unity Club.

Mr. Alexander Frimpong, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), who was on hand to inaugurate the facility, applauded the people for their initiative and drive to improve their living conditions through self-help.

He said it was the way forward to speed up the development of the municipality � to make things better for everybody.

He repeated the assembly’s determination to give support to communities that took steps to tackle their felt needs.

Mr. Frimpong said it was important for all to accept to contribute their quota to the progress of their community.

They could not over-depend on the assembly for everything, he added.

The MCE said the project was a good example to the rest of the people in the municipality.

He used the occasion to encourage everybody to avail themselves of the various interventions rolled out by the government to make their economic situation better.

Mr. Kwaku Asante, a patron of the club, said they were eager to take their own destiny into their own hands.

He announced the decision to build a community clinic and teachers’ accommodation.

He said these would give the people access to quality healthcare and entice teachers to accept posting to the place.

He invited the people to support the construction of the projects with labor for their early completion.

Nana Takyi Boateng, the chief, commended members of the club for their immense contribution to the development of the community.

He appealed to the MCE to do everything to help fix the bad road leading to the community � a major cocoa producing area.

Source: Ghana News Agency