In Zambia, you start microinsurance by listening first

25 November 2021

When you have few resources, insurance seems like a luxury product. Nevertheless, good insurance is an absolute added value for poor people. Unexpected costs caused by a disappointing harvest, illness, excessive rain or a death in the family can already mean a small disaster. Microfinancing institutions (MFIs) around the world are keen to offer their customers this extra safety net. This is also the case in Zambia where, at the beginning of October 2021, BRS organised a training course on microinsurance for MFIs with local and international experts. 

The main lesson for all participants was clear. “There is only one person who knows what the best insurance is and that is the customer himself or herself”.

Really listening to what people want is the first step. And that first step was taken literally during the training. Thus the 25 participants - managers of MFIs and insurers - went to the local market in Lusaka to talk to vendors and artisans and to hear from them about what protection they most need. 

This was the basis for an exciting and instructive four days in which the exchange of experiences and lively discussions provided additional insights and motivation, resulting in a prototype of microinsurance. The participants in the training returned to the market to test this result with the vendors. One of them wrote afterwards “it was a very interactive training which showed me again the importance of micro insurance and being more customer-centric in our organisation”. With these and other inspiring ideas, the participants returned to their own organisations. That is where the real work begins. They can count on the BRS team to provide further coaching.