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Market Development


Despite its potential, insurance penetration is low. Inclusive insurance markets are developing rapidly in countries such as India, South Africa and the Philippines, where millions of low-income households have some protection. However, outreach in many other developing countries remains meagre. The market failure is due to many factors: low insurer understanding of opportunities to serve the low-income market, lack of specialized expertise, unknown markets with low awareness of insurance, inappropriate distribution models, lack of infrastructure (data, payment systems), and lack of an enabling environment and suitable regulations.

Our Market Development initiative accelerates the development of inclusive insurance markets. This is achieved through partnerships with governments, insurers and other stakeholders such as financial institutions and mobile network operators (MNOs). To achieve higher impact with market development we also promote public–private partnerships and help to embed insurance in countries’ strategies to reduce the vulnerability of populations and boost the productivity of economies. Furthermore, working closely with the private sector, regulators and other government agencies is the most effective way of developing a market that can be sustained in the long term, not just until donor or government funding runs out. See our results so far.


We take a market facilitation approach. An important first step is to develop a roadmap that sets out interventions to overcome the various obstacles to market development identified through a market and regulatory review. These interventions are usually aimed at improving understanding, stimulating demand, and strengthening the supply and regulation of inclusive insurance products in the country. The Facility specializes in implementing the following elements of the market development approach in selected countries:

  • Build the capacity of insurers, distributors and governments to serve the low-income market with valuable and viable products. Our approach promotes sustainability through making use of local training institutes, e-learning and an Executive Education programme provided in partnership with a leading global insurance school.
  • Stimulate supply, innovation and improvements in client value value through an acceleration fund coupled with technical assistance for the most committed players.
  • Build an insurance culture through long-term engagement on consumer education and protection with local insurance associations, regulators and civil society organizations.
  • Stimulate collaborative action to develop industry-wide solutions such as data warehousing.
  • Engage with insurance supervisors and other policy-makers to support market development, including through public–private partnerships, to enable the insurance industry to help achieve public policy objectives.
  • Facilitate communities for knowledge sharing and coordination at the global or regional level.


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