Micro-Insurance: The Next Revolution?
In Understanding Poverty, edited by Abhijit Banerjee, Roland Benabou, and Dilip Mookherjee. Oxford University Press, 2006.
This essay focuses on the design of insurance products for poor customers. Several promising innovations are described: credit life insurance, health insurance partnerships, and weather insurance. Each was created to serve populations that were previously unserved, and workable institutional solutions are emerging. The next step must be to shift from the question of what creates workable institutions to the question of how to refine designs to best serve low-income populations. In doing so, current approaches must be reassessed in order to most improve clients’ lives and to avoid doing unintended harm.