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Health and accident microinsurance for the self-employed -- PGI

About the Project

Project Name: Health and accident microinsurance for the self-employed -- PGI
Type of Facility Project: Microinsurance innovation grantee
Country of Operation: Mongolia
Region: Asia and the Pacific
Sub Topics: Partnerships, Demand, Life
Type of Risk Carrier: Regulated insurance company
Type of Distribution Channel: Bank

Organizational Overview

Tenger Insurance (‘Tenger’), formerly known as Prime Daatgal insurance, established in 2001, is owned by the Tenger Group. It is one of the largest insurance companies in the country and has pioneered microinsurance to serve low-income families since 2006, leveraging its commercial insurance expertise and claims system.


Project Description

Tenger plans to expand its services to low-income herders and microentrepreneurs who are underserved by mainstream financial institutions throughout the country. The project aims to widen the availability and scope of health and accident microinsurance products for this population. The target population comprise of approximately 12,000 urban and rural low-income households, herders and self-employed people dispersed throughout the country who suffer from financial difficulty due to a variety of ...READ MORE


Tenger will expand its services to the low-income herders and microentrepreneurs who are underserved by mainstream financial institutions throughout the country. The beneficiaries of the project comprise approximately 12,000 urban and rural low-income households, herders and self-employed people largely dispersed throughout the country who suffer from financial difficulty caused by a variety of factors such lack of education or extreme weather conditions. The project will start with clients living in more densely populated areas, and then extend to herders in countryside.


Learning Agenda

  • Which partnership model is the most efficient in leveraging financial institutions and retailers operational processes to reach a very scattered population?
  • Which communication medium and format (cell phones, radio or television) is the most effective in educating the target market?
  • What is the optimal premium that can result in the greatest uptake by clients and contribute to early financial viability?
  • What services/products can be bundled to meet the needs of the various low-income market segments (e.g. microenterprises, herders)?

Project Status

Project Updates
As of January 2010 Project team: Project planning took place during this period. Team members faced challenges initiating the project, communicating with its distribution partner XB, and reporting to the administration. Tenger Administration: Lack of support and dedication from Tenger Administration for the Microinsurance project (MI project) caused human resource allocation problems. Only two members were expected to run the MI project in its entirety. Partnership: Tenger and XB initia...READ MORE

Project Lessons

On the effectiveness of bundling products/services for various segments of population Though the target population could be divided into three income segments it was decided to not fine-tune the product because the target population was not sufficiently large. Results from the market survey showed the self-employed entrepreneurs falling into three income segments: 108000 – 300000MNT, 300001-500000MNT, and 500 001-1000 000 MNT monthly incomes. Each seg...READ MORE
On designing need-driven products and services Quantitative and qualitative market survey results revealed a preference for a bundled health and accident insurance product. Tenger designed a bundled product that includes accidental death and hospital cash benefits. Based on the market survey and research, the microinsurance team developed a complementary and non-conflicting product to the national health system. Tenger conducted an exploration a...READ MORE
On partnership formation and management Sufficient effort should go into aligning the objectives of the partners, gaining buy-in from all levels of the partner organization, and formalizing the partnership. Tenger and its distribution partner XB initially had a formal agreement to work together on all products and services, but no formal addendum was signed to specifically address this project.  However, a lack of understanding of microinsurance le...READ MORE
On project management Sufficient effort should go into gaining buy-in from stakeholders and manage their expectations about the project.  When the project is conceived, the project champion should take the effort to gain the buy-in from management, partners, consultants and project team members.  This may involve educating stakeholders on the nature of the project, benefits to the stakeholders and resources required by the project.  It is also...READ MORE
On appropriate staff training Innovative methods for training staff can be very effective. For example, as part of XB engagement and marketing, the pilot branch loan officers were provided with complementary policies during the product launch (they were given single policies at the lowest coverage level, with an option to purchase higher levels of coverage). In addition to getting buy-in, it was an effective training tool: they needed to fill in the enrolmen...READ MORE
On operational processes and supporting infrastructure Existing infrastructure needs to be reviewed and may have to be improved to handle microinsurance processes. Tenger’s existing system for its mainstream commercial insurance product lines is not conducive to properly service a large volume of small insurance policies.  Tenger’s MIS is undergoing evaluation and improvement. Tenger will obtain technical assistance to improve and adapt its exi...READ MORE
On actuarial support Collecting experience data once the pilot product is rolled out can help fill data gaps.  Although the data available in Mongolia was more than one might usually find in a developing country, the project team needed to be trained on the type of data required so that data sources can be identified.  Distinguishing between informative and essential data can help set priorities. It was difficult to estimate Tenger’s internal exp...READ MORE
On customer communication and customer care Different communication methods need to be tried out to educate customers, especially where selling insurance encounters cultural issues. Tenger faces a cultural challenge in Mongolia as people generally do not want to talk about risks and the chances of accidents or illness occurring. Hence, the marketing strategy needs to take this into account.  The only marketing method tested by Tenger has been putting up...READ MORE
On monitoring experience and systems Closely monitor the experience of various correctly calculated metrics to make troubleshooting possible.  Tenger developed an MS Access database to capture policy and coverage data.  This database was tested in the days immediately following the launch using the initial policies.  Subsequently, a small claims database was created to supplement the initial MS Access database, but as of August 2011, the datab...READ MORE
Date of last update:  September 2011