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Innovating to provide inclusive insurance during the pandemic

Emerging Insight #:


Date of Release:

  October 19, 2020



How Tunajali provided Paraguay’s first insurance coverage for hospitalization for COVID-19

The hardships imposed by the pandemic have put insurance at the centre of attention as an instrument of economic development. This has led the insurance industry to reinvent its business model and products, incorporating the social element and putting the customer front and centre of their business.

Tunajali is an inclusive insurance initiative that is marketed 100% digitally. It was first piloted in Paraguay in February 2020 to offer insurance coverage for hospitalization and cancer detection among the most vulnerable segments. Thanks to its technology-reliant business model, it managed to become, within just three weeks, the only product in Paraguay to cover hospitalization for COVID-19.

To achieve this, its adaptation process had to be fast and the interests of all the actors had to be aligned. Tunajali modified its product policy within a day, increasing the premium value by 10% and reducing the waiting time from 90 to 21 days. The launch of the product was not immediate because modifying its digital portal took another three weeks. However, once the portal was launched, traffic doubled and sales increased by 80%.

Tunajali develops and adapts its products using the “Design thinking” methodology, which allows the organization to design products based on the specific needs of its clients and to generate greater value on the products on offer. Some of the learnings from this process have enabled Tunajali to identify key issues to which it can adapt its products. Countries like Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru have already shown interest in Tunajali and have started working with the reinsurance company BarentsRe to roll out similar initiatives.

To learn more about Tunajali's products, we invite you to read our latest Case Brief and to have a look at Tunajali’s own PACE analysis of its products. The Facility’s PACE methodology (Product, Access, Cost and Experience) helps organizations examine their products from the clients’ perspective by comparing the insurance offering with other formal and informal risk management tools.


Activities undertaken by the ILO’s Social Finance Programme on financial risk management associated with health-related risks are intended to complement the ILO’s position on social health protection and universal health coverage, which are the responsibility of the public sector. These innovation projects are aimed at testing new financial products and processes to extend health cover to unserved population groups and/or provide complementary benefits. The basis for such financial risk management innovation is captured in ILO Recommendation 189, which states the freedom “of Members to determine whether there is a need for supplementary measures as regards social protection, such as voluntary schemes, cooperative initiatives and others".