Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab
How can we increase uptake of good quality insurance by vulnerable people and businesses?
Insurance protects against unforeseen losses and financial vulnerability and plays a vital role in promoting economic growth. Yet in most developing and emerging economies, insurance penetration rates are low and vast segments of the low-income population as well as micro and small businesses remain excluded from insurance.
The Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab is a sequence of national workshops and international platforms for insurance supervisors and other key stakeholders of the inclusive insurance sector. It provides a unique opportunity to build leadership capabilities while working together to develop innovative solutions that will increase uptake of insurance.
The participants represent all important insurance stakeholders such as companies, intermediaries, regulatory authorities and demand side representatives.
Albania, Ghana, Kenya, Mongolia
To address the challenges in improving access to insurance, the Access to Insurance Initiative and the Global Leadership Academy are launching a unique 12-month Leadership and Innovation Lab. The Lab brings together a broad range of inclusive insurance stakeholders in 4 country teams to build innovative solutions, guided by the question: How can we increase uptake of good quality insurance by vulnerable people and businesses?
The Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab is based on the understanding that the question above cannot be tackled by one stakeholder alone. Rather, it needs the collective experience from diverse perspectives to comprehensively understand the bottlenecks within the sector.
Building on this understanding, the process will enable participants to develop and test innovative solutions to promote uptake of insurance by those in need.
Oftentimes stakeholders in the insurance market have preconceived conceptions about one another and do not adequately understand the challenges and constraints that the other actors face. The Lab will stimulate dialogue and an exchange of experiences, both within and across country teams. This will allow participants to learn from the experience of other countries (i.e. peer learning) and to thoroughly understand the perspectives of all players in the inclusive insurance market – a prerequisite to creating sustainable innovation. The process aims to develop lasting networks within (and across) the participating countries which can be drawn on even after the Lab process has come to an end.
In a first step, country teams will collectively analyse their country context in order to identify the specific areas in which innovation is needed. In a second step, the process will enable teams to develop innovative solutions that can increase the uptake of insurance by vulnerable people and businesses. Initial implementation of the innovations will be accompanied by experienced change facilitators – but ownership ultimately rests with the country groups.
The knowledge gained and skill sets developed throughout the Lab will help participants address complex realities in their future work. The entire process is designed to promote leadership and innovation skills and the ability of participants to initiate multi-stakeholder collaboration.
“How can we increase uptake of good quality insurance by vulnerable people and businesses?”
The year-long Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab developed by the Global Leadership Academy and the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) was kick started with country-level meetings held across the four participating countries between the latter half of November and early December 2017. Participants from Albania, Ghana, Kenya, and Mongolia engaged within their country teams for two intensive and productive days with expert facilitation from Reos Partners.
“This is the first time we are meeting like this. We all know each other, but have never met all together!”
Participants represented the major stakeholders: the regulators, private companies, and consumer organisations. Though most of them knew each other, the meetings provided an opportunity to integrate different perspectives. With one participant exclaiming, “this is the first time we are meeting like this. We all know each other, but have never met all together!” Besides being introduced to their country teams, the participants were familiarised with the social lab method to be used throughout the Lab.
The agenda of the meetings centred around
- a) analysing the current landscape of the inclusive insurance market in their respective countries,
- b) exploring areas that are ripe for innovation, and
- c) making individual and collective commitments for the coming year.
The meetings were an eye-opener for some, underscoring the importance of multi-stakeholder dialogues. For example, one participant realized, “I’ve had a big waking call that I need to work with the NGOs that I’ve been ignoring.”
“We always need to keep the bigger picture in the back of our minds: it’s not about us, it’s about the industry.”
Far from their typical day, the meetings engaged the creative side of the participants through activities such as insurance storytelling through LEGO sets, speed dating, a cynics and believers exercise and more. This helped identify strategies that are being pursued in their respective countries to bring insurance to the vulnerable, and the key issues and challenges that are keeping them from meeting that goal. With participants developing a better understanding of each other’s perspectives, they arrived at the key themes to focus on as a country team for the duration of the Lab with a commitment to meet informally and check progress monthly. As one participant said, “we always need to keep the bigger picture in the back of our minds: it’s not about us, it’s about the industry.”
Participants and the hosting team are now looking forward to learning from each other’s perspectives and takes those learnings into their year-long in-country innovation process.