Imagine you learned today that, due to an unforeseen health emergency, you needed to spend a couple of days in the hospital. It would be an inconvenient setback for anyone, but as long as you had insurance, at least part of the expense would be covered and life would eventually go back to normal after you paid the remainder was paid. However, for someone living on $3 a day with no insurance, it could be life-altering and could spell financial ruin.
It seems cruel that those who need insurance most are those least likely to have it, but traditional insurance is too expensive for many people living in low-income countries. Oftentimes it’s also inaccessible, requiring would-be consumers who might be illiterate to fill out paperwork, provide identification, and demonstrate their ability to make payments with proof of a bank account. Consequently, the majority opt for what has long been the only alternative: buying no insurance at all.
In this video, Karen Dillon explains how Richard Leftley, founder of MicroEnsure, saw the nonconsumption of insurance as an opportunity and developed a market-creating innovation that made insurance simple, affordable, and accessible, creating a much-needed safeguard for millions of people in emerging economies.