“I was convinced by the participative way in which BRS coaches organisations in the South during my first volunteer assignment. Engaging in dialogue with the partners, listening carefully to them, tailoring your knowledge and experience to their context, it works!” When I saw that BRS had a vacancy for a Microinsurance project coordinator, I knew right away that this is something I want to do!”
“With microinsurance you can really make a difference in the South. If the breadwinner becomes ill or someone in the family dies, insurance prevents people from spiralling into poverty.
The major challenge is still to spread the concept of microinsurance. Unlike microcredits, which clearly offer entrepreneurs opportunities to grow, the effect of insurance is less visible. You take out insurance in case, if you have a setback. And hopefully nothing happens and you don’t need that insurance. For people on low incomes, it’s not easy to invest in a risk that may never happen.”
“BRS does not want to encourage organisations in the South to sell as many insurance policies as possible. We prefer to think in terms of protection: what does the customer need to protect himself optimally? We do not view microinsurance as a stand-alone product, but as part of a package of protective measures. Microcredits and savings are also part of this. They give the customer more room to manoeuvre and help him overcome minor setbacks. While insurance makes sense for large risks, prevention also fits in this scenario.”
“Based on this vision of microinsurance, we want to cooperate not only with insurers, but also with microfinancing institutions (MFIs). As a matter of fact, they often request support in terms of insurance. Working with them is a step towards an integrated bank insurance model, as we know it here.
One example is in Central America, a region with many earthquakes, floods and violence. Very few low-income people are insured against these risks, which is why a number of MFIs joined forces and founded Serinsa (in Nicaragua). Serinsa supports its members in selling insurance, through training and market research, which allows products to be tailored to the needs of small-scale farmers. Serinsa also negotiates with the insurers on behalf of the entire group. This helps them defend their interests more effectively. BRS believes in this model and supports this development.”
“I truly believe that by strengthening organisations that work with microinsurance, we are bringing about change. That is also why I love my job at BRS. In addition to the perfect balance between working with figures and coaching, I also believe it is meaningful: the opportunity to do something for the world within my capabilities. I’m really happy in my job. And therefore happy in life!’