Coverage for the poor
Even when they have a business, the poor around the world live just one disaster away from utter destitution. Death or disaster threaten to wipe out the progress made with the help of microloans. Without insurance to protect families’ hard-earned funds risk being lost and the long and often difficult process to rebuild their lives has to begin again.
A pilot test run for Opportunity International microfinance borrowers in Zambia demonstrated that there is a significant demand among clients for insurance. We also discovered that insurance companies are willing to provide access to poor entrepreneurs. The purpose of this project is to establish a “Micro Insurance Agency," which will enable Opportunity to extend insurance services to borrowers of other microfinance networks and rural banks, as well as to members of the general public. The typical product that would be sold might cost $1 a month for each borrower and cover the client, spouse and four children against death during the loan term. In the Philippines for example, the sum insured equates to $2,000 for the borrower, $1,000 for the spouse and $500 per child.