AMMAN – Jordan’s Microfund for Women and global nonprofit Women’s World Banking will host representatives from around the world for an intensive workshop on microinsurance this week in Amman. Microfund for Women, a Women’s World Banking network member, created the first private health microinsurance offering in Jordan.
“Microfund for Women is keen to join their network partners for a microinsurance workshop where diversified experiences will be shared and discussed and new strategies will arise,” said Muna Sukhtian Managing Director at Microfund for Women.
Sponsored by the Agence Française de Développement, this interactive workshop will convene senior managers from Women’s World Banking’s network of financial institutions around the world who have designed and delivered microinsurance products. The workshop will be an opportunity for practitioners to share challenges and lessons learned in developing competitive, impactful microinsurance products.
“Women’s vulnerable health status is driven both by nature and by custom. And yet, the majority of microinsurance available precludes care for many of their most pressing health concerns,” said Anna Gincherman, Chief Product Development Officer at Women’s World Banking. “We are so pleased to see such wide geographic representation and strong interest in insurance among the workshop participants.”
Research has shown that healthcare costs often exert the most financial pressure on poor families. Meeting the costs of an unexpected health emergency is the most common reason women give for having to liquidate or decapitalize their businesses. Microinsurance has enormous potential to provide security and stability to a poor household if the product meets the needs of women and they understand the benefits.
In 2010 Women’s World Banking worked with Microfund for Women to create “Caregiver,” a product that provides a cash benefit after hospitalization that clients can use for a range of related needs: transportation to the hospital or replacement of lost revenue while their businesses have been closed.
The most significant aspect of Caregiver is its coverage of maternal health: Microfund for Women serves 97 percent women clients and women are more likely to prioritize the care of their family above their own. The only exception is when women are pregnant. Women’s World Banking assured that the Caregiver policy covers all hospital stays related to pregnancy, a feature critical to improving maternal health outcomes and of great value to Microfund for Women’s clients.
“At Microfund for Women we set our strategy to provide responsible financial inclusion to our beneficiaries through providing them with microinsurance as a starting point,” said Sukhtian.
Building on the success of their partnership with Microfund for Women, Women’s World Banking is bringing insurance products to other markets, including institutions in Uganda, Egypt and Morocco, which will be represented at this workshop.
The workshop will cover a wide range of topics, including microinsurance product design and features, marketing and client education, training and performance management. Participants will learn about forming partnerships with insurance companies and expanding insurance offerings with a return-on-investment approach. The workshop will also include site visits to Microfund for Women branches to meet staff and clients, giving participants the opportunity to witness a successful microinsurance offering firsthand.
“We look forward to this opportunity to share what we have learned about the value of microinsurance—both to women and to institutions—and also welcome the chance to learn from all participants who are committed to offering this product in a variety of cultural and economic contexts,” said Gincherman.
Participants representing institutions from nine countries will participate in the workshop, including Uganda, Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
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