The growing awareness of microinsurance schemes in various parts of the world, and the eagerness of communities to reach out to this "risk management tool" has given rise to the need to document the business processes of microinsurance. The Micro Insurance Academy (MIA), one of the pioneers in successfully implementing the microinsurance model in India and Nepal, has published a Microinsurance Business Processes Handbook (2016) with an aim to share its business processes model with the microinsurance community. The handbook serves as a detailed guide to understand the working of Community Based Mutual Aid Schemes (CBMAS).
In its mission to further propagate the practical steps for initiating a microinsurance set-up, the India-based MIA in collaboration with The Infinite Actuary (US-based) is introducing online courses in microinsurance studies.
The target audience of these courses includes members of grassroots communities worldwide who are interested in establishing their own CBMAS. The courses also benefit students of several disciplines (actuarial, development, health financing, insurance etc.) and professionals working/partnering with microinsurers worldwide.
The courses are structured under 3 streams. Each course provides up-to-date evidence (quantitative, qualitative and testimonial), and analysis of real microinsurance data, with relevant exercises. Courses are in the form of video lessons, and a few short video capsules added to capture the testimonials of stakeholders of microinsurance schemes worldwide. The description of each stream can be seen below. Students can take a free of charge online assessment to test their understanding of the courses. The students are not charged a fee for this assessment; however, students who wish to complete formal exams and get a certificate of successful completion, will have to contribute a modest fee to cover the cost of this service
In the first phase, the courses are offered in English only.
MIA Core: Principles of Risk and Insurance, Governance Structure, and Business Processes
MIA Core begins with an introduction to the principles of risk and insurance. On completion, the candidate would be able to appreciate the need for insurance, and understand the complexities associated with using commercial insurance schemes for the poor. Against this backdrop, the benefits of microinsurance for the poor, and the society as a whole are discussed.
MIA Core also elucidates the 4 major delivery models of health microinsurance, and discusses their features and challenges. An evidence-based approach is used to show how the health CBMAS model helps in solving certain issues that are inherent in the other models. The stream also describes in detail the CBMAS governance structure and business processes. For each key actor of the CBMAS, it describes the roles and responsibilities of the individual/committee. The next phase of the courses would cover livestock and crop business processes in detail.
MIA Advanced: Package Design, Pricing, Analysis, and Sustainability
MIA Advanced begins with methods to identify and estimate the most relevant risks for the target group, estimates people's willingness to pay, and studies the impact of thresholds and caps on benefit payouts. The step-by-step process of designing a benefit package, the pricing methodology and the final selection of the benefit package by the community using the "CHAT- Choosing All Together" exercise are explained in detail.
MIA Advanced also presents the financial aspects of the CBMAS. Estimating capital requirements and carrying out financial analysis are important tasks to ensure sustainability. The module also delves into MIA's own Management Information System MIA-MIS.
MIA Field Implementation: Field partner selection, Baseline Study, Awareness, Governance Structure set-up
MIA Field Implementation describes the step-by-step methodology for implementing a CBMAS. The MIA implementation model is discussed in detail, emphasizing the significant role of the community in owning and operating the scheme. The preparatory steps of selecting the CBMAS implementation partner, and conducting a baseline study are elaborated with supporting real-life field experience. Insurance education and awareness (among facilitators and community members) are key elements in CBMAS implementation, and this stream provides the rationale and processes for various awareness workshops and trainings conducted before and after the launch of the scheme, including the selection of the benefits package (CHAT). The MIA Field Implementation stream also describes the process of selecting and training the key actors of the scheme and setting up of the governance structure. This stream is particularly useful for communities interested in launching their own CBMAS.
The course streams are designed in such a way that ideally a candidate would complete all the streams in the given sequence. However, those candidates who are interested in some streams, have the option to enrol for only those. A candidate who decides to enrol for MIA Advanced requires knowledge of MIA Core.