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Article

Oscar Joseph Akotey, Kofi A. Osei and Albert Gemegah

The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors which influence the demand for micro‐insurance services among the informal sector workers of Ghana who are quite…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors which influence the demand for micro‐insurance services among the informal sector workers of Ghana who are quite vulnerable to various risks in the economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a quantitative technique based on primary data sampled randomly from 100 informal sector workers from four major market centers in Accra, Ghana. The probit regression model was used for the empirical investigation.

Findings

Empirical investigation using the probit model indicates that premium flexibility, income level and nodal agency are significant determinants of micro‐insurance demand. Insurance knowledge, expectation (trust) and marital status were also found to have positive and significant impact on the demand for micro insurance. Interestingly, the empirical analysis shows that formal education is not a significant determinant; rather one's level of insurance knowledge has a positive and significant impact on micro‐insurance demand.

Social implications

Insurers must consider the nature of the cash‐flow of informal workers in the design of premiums. The government must integrate micro insurance into its poverty reduction program.

Originality/value

The micro‐insurance market is very new and unresearched in Ghana. This foundational study is, therefore, very original and a most valuable guide to commercial insurance companies which want to venture into this huge untapped opportunity in the Ghanaian informal sector.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

Keywords

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Article

Olajumoke Olaosebikan and Mike Adams

The purpose of this study was to, using a case study research design informed by organizational economics theory, to examine the prospects for micro-insurance in promoting…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to, using a case study research design informed by organizational economics theory, to examine the prospects for micro-insurance in promoting micro-credit in a low-income Anglophone country in sub-Saharan Africa – The Gambia. Two main research questions are addressed: first, what is the most appropriate micro-finance institution (MFI) organizational structure to maximize the economic benefits of micro-insurance? Second, what are the financial management and wider economic benefits of the use of micro-insurance by MFIs?

Design/methodology/approach

To address our two research questions, we used a semi-structured interview protocol, informed by the organizational economics literature, to interpret the data collected from our field cases. We believe that these intrinsic qualities of case study methodology are particularly apt in the present study, given the complex and emergent nature of micro-finance and micro-insurance in low-income countries such The Gambia. By focusing on case studies in a single country, we also to some extent help control for variations in business environment that could confound interpretations of field data obtained from different jurisdictions.

Findings

The results of our study suggest that the mutual (cooperative) structure of credit unions is likely to be the most cost-efficient and effective organizational form for reducing information asymmetries, agency problems and transaction costs. We also observe that micro-insurance can help reduce the risk of loan defaults, thereby increasing returns on savings and lowering the costs of debt. As such, micro-insurance stimulates the demand–supply of financial intermediation in less developed countries and so helps promote economic development. In addition to contributing new insights, our findings have potentially important commercial and public policy implications.

Research limitations/implications

We acknowledge that our research is subject to inherent limitations such as the focus on three interviews in three different types of MFI organization while excluding other structural forms of organization such as government-owned/sponsored organizations. Nonetheless, the organizational characteristics of the cases examined in the present study are representative of most MFIs in developing countries. Given the prevalent hierarchical nature of corporate systems in sub-Saharan Africa, the views of the interviewees are also deemed to reflect those of other board members. Nonetheless, we acknowledge that the conclusions from our research may need to be tempered in line with these inherent limitations with the research approach adopted.

Practical implications

The insights obtained from our Gambia-based research could be generalized to developing countries elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, and indeed, other parts of the developing world. Consequently, the study could be of interest and relevance to international financiers (e.g. the World Bank), aid agencies, governments and other development organizations.

Originality/value

Despite its evident business and development potential, academic management research on micro-insurance, and in particular, its role in supporting micro-finance initiatives, is still very much at an embryonic stage. Our study thus seeks to fill this knowledge gap.

Details

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4179

Keywords

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Article

Stefan Hochrainer, Reinhard Mechler and Daniel Kull

Novel micro‐insurance schemes are emerging to help the poor better deal with droughts and other disasters. Climate change is projected to increase the intensity and…

Abstract

Purpose

Novel micro‐insurance schemes are emerging to help the poor better deal with droughts and other disasters. Climate change is projected to increase the intensity and frequency of disasters and is already adding stress to actual and potential clients of these schemes. As well, insurers and reinsurers are increasingly getting worried about increasing claim burdens and the robustness of their pricing given changing risks. The purpose of this paper is to review and suggest ways to methodologically tackle the challenges regarding the assessment of drought risk and the viability of index‐based insurance arrangements in the light of changing risks and climate change.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on novel modeling approaches, the authors take supply as well as demand side perspectives by combining risk analysis with regional climate projections and linking this to household livelihood modeling and insurance pricing. Two important examples in Malawi and India are discussed, where such schemes have been or are about to be implemented.

Findings

The authors find that indeed micro‐insurance instruments may help low‐income farming households better manage drought risk by smoothing livelihoods and reducing debt, thus avoiding poverty traps. Yet, also many obstacles to optimal design, viability and affordability of these schemes, are encountered. One of those is climate change and the authors find that changing drought risk under climate change would pose a threat to the viability of micro‐insurance, as well as the livelihoods of people requesting such contracts.

Originality/value

The findings and suggestions may corroborate the case for donor support for existing or emerging insurance arrangements helping the poor better cope with climate variability and change. Furthermore, a closer linkage between climate and global change models with insurance and risk management models should be established in the future, which could be beneficial for both sides.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

Keywords

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Case study

Krishnaveni Muthiah

Reaching the bottom of the pyramid: micro life insurance in India.

Abstract

Title

Reaching the bottom of the pyramid: micro life insurance in India.

Subject area

International business/International marketing.

Study level/applicability

Courses: the case is directly related to courses on “International Business” and “International Marketing” in the Master of Business Administration programme.Training programmes: management development programmes for working executives, on the topics “Business across borders”, “Business stabilization in foreign markets”.

Case overview

In 1999, the liberalization of the insurance sector as per the recommendations of the Malhotra committee gave way for privatization and foreign firms entered this sector through joint ventures. The business growth, which was enjoyed by these firms from 1999 to 2008, was tremendous. The growth percentage started declining following the global economic downturn in the capital markets. This situation compelled the insurance firms to re‐look into their business strategy. On one hand whatever growth they had, 80 percent of it was through unit linked insurance plans depending on the capital market. On the other, it was identified that in a country like India the untapped market potential was among the rural millions. Reaching those people who are at the bottom of the pyramid necessitated a completely new business model to be developed as the need of the hour. The take stock of the position at this vnjuncture is the crux of the present case study, which envisages finding out alternative delivery models to suit the Indian rural market taking into account the intrinsic nature of life insurance and the basic living styles and mentality of the rural folk.

Expected learning outcomes

After discussion and analysis of this case, students will be able to: understand how market culture in a target country differs from that in the home country; appreciate how challenges in a developing country market have their own unique features to be understood; identify various courses of action and evaluate them on the basis of the host country factors; understand the “international planning process”; and appreciate how important it is for a country manager of a multinational firm to plan and execute the marketing mix suited to the inherent qualities of the target market.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

Keywords

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Article

Mohammad Saleh Torkestani and Pari Ahadi

The purpose of this paper is to assess readiness of Iranian micro‐finance institutes (MFIs) to perform micro‐insurance activities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess readiness of Iranian micro‐finance institutes (MFIs) to perform micro‐insurance activities.

Design/methodology/approach

A five‐variable model was used. Each variable was assessed using a special dimension of readiness. Row data were gathered through a closed interview containing 34 questions using the Likert scale. Interviewees included 30 experts working as top managers in 15 selected Iranian MFIs (consisting of banks, finance and credit institutes and Qarzol‐hasane).

Findings

The score for general readiness of MFIs in Iran revealed a remarkable figure. Accordingly, it is suggested that these institutes should enter this business field incrementally and invest in this particular domain.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was not truly random, as the professionals in this field are not easily accessible. The factors that were used for the study were based on a review of past researches and the factors were chosen after deliberation and reliability tests. However, this study may not have chosen all possible factors. The research findings are limited to MFIs of Iran. The findings cannot be generalized to other institutions or industries.

Originality/value

The paper reveals the importance of the readiness assessment in successful microinsurance implementation by Islamic MFIs and introduces a basic model for this type of readiness assessment that can be used in other countries.

Details

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8394

Keywords

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Article

Sheila Nu Nu Htay, Nur Shazwani Sadzali and Hanudin Amin

This research aims to examine the viability of micro-health takaful in Malaysia. Current practices in the takaful industry in Malaysia reveal that takaful operators (TOs…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to examine the viability of micro-health takaful in Malaysia. Current practices in the takaful industry in Malaysia reveal that takaful operators (TOs) are keen on offering products that are affordable for middle- to high-income people. However, the concept of takaful is based on mutual help, and, hence, it is believed that TOs should offer products affordable by the poor and lower income people.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this objective, the interest of the poor to participate in this product is examined by sending the questionnaire. In addition, TOs were approached to understand why micro-health takaful products have not been offered as yet. The regulator was also interviewed to gauge whether the government is supportive of this scheme.

Findings

From the survey, it was noted that the poor people are interested to participate in such a scheme. However, most of them are only willing to contribute about RM5 per month, while some of the respondents, especially, zakat recipients are unable to afford to pay at all. The zakat authority when interviewed stated they were unable to contribute on behalf of the zakat recipients. To a certain extent, zakat authority is required to obtain an approval from the National Fatwa Council with regard to that issue. The regulator views that the micro takaful is still in an experimental stage. From the perspective of TOs, it might be viable if the product is offered as part of the corporate social responsibility, rather than by individual operators. Therefore, it could be summed up that micro-health takaful will be viable if and only if TOs collectively offer it as a part of their corporate social responsibility, and it must be subsidized by the zakat or waqf authorities.

Research limitations/implications

Particularly, this study only considers a limited geography in Malaysia to understand the viability of micro-health. On the same note, the current focus of the study is on micro-health takaful in which it has not tapped other potential micro takaful products.

Originality/value

This study is a pioneering effort in understanding the viability of the micro health takaful in Malaysia.

Details

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4179

Keywords

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Book part

Rafiza Zuliani and Asmak Ab Rahman

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to review the responses of low-income earners to micro-takaful and its implementation in Banda Aceh.Methodology/approach – The data…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to review the responses of low-income earners to micro-takaful and its implementation in Banda Aceh.

Methodology/approach – The data for the study were obtained by interviewing three parties. These parties were practitioners, academic experts and low-income earners selected by purposive sampling in each zone of Banda Aceh.

Findings – The study found that there is a potential for micro-takaful to be offered in Banda Aceh due to the needs of low-income groups for it; however, there are many challenges which need to be overcome for successful implementation.

Research limitations – The study is limited to the potential implementation of micro-takaful in Banda Aceh. Therefore, the study involves only its residents.

Originality/value – This study makes a positive contribution to stakeholders by ensuring that they can provide micro-takaful schemes for the benefit of low-income earners. The study also adds to the literature on the concept of micro-takaful.

Details

New Developments in Islamic Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-283-7

Keywords

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Book part

Marcus Taylor

Conceptualizing development in terms of risk management has become a prominent feature of mainstream development discourse. This has led to a convergence between the…

Abstract

Conceptualizing development in terms of risk management has become a prominent feature of mainstream development discourse. This has led to a convergence between the rubrics of financial inclusion and risk management whereby improved access for poor households to private sector credit, insurance and savings products is represented as a necessary step toward building “resilience.” This convergence, however, is notable for a shallow understanding of the production and distribution of risks. By naturalizing risk as an inevitable product of complex systems, the approach fails to interrogate how risk is produced and displaced unevenly between social groups. Ignoring the structural and relational dimensions of risk production leads to an overly technical approach to risk management that is willfully blind to the intersection of risk and social power. A case study of the promotion of index-based livestock insurance in Mongolia – held as a model for innovative risk management via financial inclusion – is used to indicate the tensions and contradictions of this projected synthesis of development and risk management.

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Article

Ghada Barsoum

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, it seeks to voice the concerns of educated youth in Egypt as they describe their work options and preferences. Second, it…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, it seeks to voice the concerns of educated youth in Egypt as they describe their work options and preferences. Second, it seeks to highlight the gravity of the policy gap in addressing work informality, drawing on some of the international experience in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews, desk-review of policies, and descriptive statistical analysis of a recent national survey of labour in Egypt.

Findings

A large proportion of educated youth work within the realm of informality and there is a clear policy gap in addressing this issue. Contrary to what would be expected, young people value access to social security and work stability. They face systemic hurdles related to access to such benefits. Because of the legacy of guaranteed government hiring of the educated in Egypt, young people express a great appreciation of work in the government, for virtually being the only employer offering job stability and social security in the labour market.

Research limitations/implications

This paper addresses a gap in the literature on youth employment in Egypt, where there is a dearth of research focusing on the lived experience of employment precariousness. The majority of studies in this field relies on statistics with little qualitative research voicing the views of this group.

Practical implications

Reforms are more urgent than timely to extend social security and other measures of social protection to workers within the informal economy.

Originality/value

The paper builds on primary data and provides insights about the way educated youth perceive their working conditions and options. The paper also provides a discussion of the social security system in Egypt, its coverage, and possible reform approaches.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 35 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Case study

Adrian David Saville, Philip Powell, Tashmia Ismail-Saville and Morris Mthombeni

For discussion of social entrepreneurship in middle-income economies, emerging markets generally and Africa, specifically, Quali Health presents interesting questions…

Abstract

Learning outcomes

For discussion of social entrepreneurship in middle-income economies, emerging markets generally and Africa, specifically, Quali Health presents interesting questions about entrepreneurial funding, scaling and the interplay between social entrepreneurial activities and the informal sector.

Case overview/synopsis

South Africa’s primary health outcomes do not correspond to the country’s spending on public health, with South Africa ranking among the worst globally in the incidence of tuberculosis, HIV prevalence, infant mortality and life expectancy. In part, this poor outcome can be explained by high inequality in access to healthcare, which reflects South Africa’s grossly skewed income and wealth distributions, with the bulk of the country’s population reliant upon an underfunded, inefficient and poorly managed public health system. This substandard service for the working poor in South Africa’s townships with high population densities offered a profitable entrepreneurial opportunity to provide affordable and effective primary care with vast gains in quality and outcomes improved dignity for patients. After receiving her MBA, physician and entrepreneur Dr Nthabiseng Legoete self-funded the launch of Quali Health in 2017. The business model set out to disrupt healthcare delivery for South Africa’s poorest citizens. Drawing patients from the working poor in Diepsloot, Quali Health’s inaugural site was cash flow positive within five months when the facility hit only 30% of installed service capacity. With quick success, Dr Legoete faced the strategic question of how fast to scale and finance the expansion. She also considered a new micro-insurance product for her clientele.

Complexity academic level

For discussion of social entrepreneurship in middle-income economies, emerging markets generally and Africa, specifically, Quali Health presents interesting questions about entrepreneurial funding, scaling and the interplay between social entrepreneurial activities and the informal sector.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS: 3 Entrepreneurship.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

Keywords

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