By Mazen Ayham Nimri, Deputy General Manager, Life & Medical Department, Jordan Insurance Company
When the Jordan-based Microfund for Women (MFW) first approached my team at Jordan Insurance Company (JIC) and proposed that we collaborate on an insurance product for low-income borrowers, my colleagues and I suspected that a project like this would never succeed. We assumed insurance would never be accepted by the low-income sector, due to a lack of insurance education as well as religious barriers. To our surprise, the vast majority of MFW’s low-income clients indicated their interest in insurance and supported the idea through many focus groups and surveys. The concept gained even more ground once we started the payment of claims, of course, and soon the word-of-mouth began to spread more widely. In the low-income sector, insurance started developing a positive image as an important source of support for families who have suffered a loss.
[Tweet “What factors contributed to Jordan Insurance Company and @JordanMicrofund microinsurance success?”]Our partnership with Microfund for Women started in 2006, when MFW was seeking to offer life insurance to their borrowers. We started with a simple credit life insurance product that paid off the debt of the borrower upon her death, then the product developed over the years to include additional benefits such as:
- Additional sums paid to beneficiaries upon the borrower’s death
- Life insurance for the spouse
- Hospital cash for the borrower
- Hospital cash for the borrower’s dependents
The insurance product we collaborated on with MFW started with a small portfolio of around 3,000 members in 2006 has now reached 200,000 as of 2015. We expect the number to increase to 500,000 during the next two years. We are also very proud to be the leading company in the world to have developed the hospital cash benefit at the microinsurance level.
What factors have contributed to the tremendous success of our microinsurance venture?
- First, we have listened to the needs of our clients and done whatever it takes to cater to them.
- We’ve also kept the product and procedures simple, and
- we’ve been willing to adjust them to adapt to the changing needs of our clients. Products that worked previously may not be suitable in subsequent years.
- But above all, we have maintained a true partnership with MFW. Our relationship is built on transparency, commitment and most important of all our shared passion for providing superior and practical solutions for our microinsurance clients. The success story of our microinsurance product is the greatest testament to that partnership.
As Deputy General Manager for Life and Medical Insurance at JIC, I’m proud to work for a company that believes in giving all sectors of society the opportunity to have some form of insurance coverage tailored to their needs. JIC, which was established in 1951 and maintains headquarters in Jordan with branch offices in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates has a history of taking the initiative to venture into new and different lines of insurance. We’re a composite insurer handling both life and non-life lines of insurance, and we were the first insurance company in the Middle East and North Africa region to develop and launch several microinsurance products. Since those products launched 10 years ago, they have helped many families to sustain their standards of living. We remain committed to uplifting and protecting quality of life for all sectors of society, and to building on our track record of success.
We are very proud to be partners with both MFW and Women’s World Banking. It has been gratifying to witness the evolution and success of microinsurance over the past 10 years, and we would like to extend our experience with microinsurance to any entity wishing to explore and learn from our expertise.