Insurance Covered


A look at micro insurance (With Rose Goslinga)

Season 2, Ep. 13

Welcome to Insurance Covered. In this episode we discuss micro insurance with Rose Goslinga, co-founder of Pula, a micro insurance company based in Kenya. We will look at why micro insurance exists and why it has become a vital source of cover for so many people in Kenya and beyond.

We start by discussing how Rose found her way to founding a micro insurance company in Africa. Rose moved to Rwanda to take up a job in the Ministry for Agriculture and worked with a team to implement 'the green initiative' with plans to help farmers increase their crop yield in order to ensure there was enough food to feed them and the villages they belonged to. It was in this role the need for insurance was clear, when such investment into agriculture was highly dependent on their being a good amount of rainfall.

Rose goes on to explain what micro insurance is explaining that it is exactly what it sounds like, small premiums and the limits of indemnity are also small " the average farm size that we deal with is maybe half an acre, our average premium, I think this last year, was $8". Rose goes on to explain that with the micro insurance they offer it is essentially a form of parametric insurance. To visit every individual farm would be logistically and financially very costly (and would drive the premiums up making it unaffordable to the farmers). So instead they rely on technology and sampling in different areas to provide data on a good harvest, if there have been issues (flooding or droughts for example) and pay-outs are based on data received back.

We then go on to discuss how Pula 'sell' insurance policies to farmers. Rose explains it comes down to behavioral economics and the value proposition but forward. It is heavily built on trust. "You are now telling people, give me money first, and then if something goes wrong, you have to trust me but I will pay you compensation". One way Pula have sold policies is through credit providers or through fertilizer providers or seed providers that the farmers are using. Working with the companies providing the credit to build and work the farms almost mandating that they take insurance cover to protect them and the harvest should anything go wrong.

 We then discuss how the claims side works. Rose explains the farmers don’t make claims, the technology in place calculates claims based on historical data and sampling. If a harvest in a district in lower than historically measured a payment is calculated. If the areas have been affected by adverse weather a payment is automatically calculated and paid. As soon as a trigger happens a payment to the farmers is made.

Finally, we discuss the future plans for Pula. She explains last year they had 1.7 million policies in place a number they expect to grow as they expand across Africa and beyond, with Asia and Latin America being other continents to focus on.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Insurance Covered, if you did please subscribe to keep up to date with future episodes. 

More Episodes


Slipcase: How to know what you don’t know (With Alex Hearn)

Season 2, Ep. 19
Welcome to Insurance Covered. In this episode we discuss Slipcase a curator of insurance focused news and insights. Our guest is Alex Hearn, Managing Director at Slipcase and we will be looking at how Slipcase can become a valuable tool for those working in the world of insurance. We start by looking at what Slipcase is and why it was founded. Alex describes Slipcase in its simplest form as a central content platform for the global commercial and specialty sector of the insurance market with the simple aim of being a one stop shop to come and get all the information you might need on a day to day basis. Through a simple preferences form slipcase can tailor a newsfeed to an individual's specific areas of interest. If an aviation underwriter only wants news directly related to this area it's easy for him to find all the latest news in one place. Slipcase is available as a website and an app but also offers daily newsletters sent directly to your inbox with the news stories that relate to your selected areas of interest. Alex goes on to explain that Slipcase partner with firms across the industry and collect any content they produce, be that a blog, a white paper, a video or a podcast and they take that information and add it to their central pool of information. This method helps subscribers by collecting all the information into one easy to access place and also benefits the firms as it amplifies the exposure of their articles. We also discuss the plans for Slipcase in the future. Alex mentions that they have a desire to enhance the analytics they get from the platform and have hired data scientists to help make that a reality. They are also currently in the process of redesigning the interface to enable them to better highlight the big news stories and events taking place. So, the future aim for Slipcase is to become an even more detailed tool for users to digest information about the insurance world in ways that they will find easier and more useful. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Insurance Covered, if you did please subscribe to keep up to date with future episodes.

How the insurance industry could bring down fossil fuels (with Tom Johansmeyer)

Season 2, Ep. 18
Welcome to Insurance Covered. In this episode we discuss the relationship between fossil fuels and insurance. Our guest is Tom Johansmeyer, Head of Property Claims Services at Verisk insurance solutions. Tom recently had an article published in the Harvard Business Review 'How the insurance industry could bring down fossil fuels' which is what we will be focusing on today.First, we take a closer look at the article Tom wrote on the topic of ESG, fossil fuels and the role insurance can play in reducing the use of fossil fuels. The article focuses on the recent Lloyd's decision to phase out insurance for most fossil fuels by 2030. "I wanted to take a look at was the business side of that decision.Because, having looked at ESG issues in various forms over the past 15 years of my career, I've always struggled with this notion of will companies do the right thing because it's right or is there a business incentive to do so".As part of the research behind the article Tom looked at historical marine and energy losses and historical global large risk losses to see which of these are from companies directly involved in the fossil fuel business and what portion of a loss do they make up. They found that We found that around two thirds of the losses in that segment are from companies directly involved in the fossil fuel business. So this goes some way to explain why Lloyd's have made the decision they have, from a purely business orientated perspective before even considering ESG pressures. Investors want companies to be more ESG positive but at the same time they also want it to be value accretive.So the challenge is finding a way to pivot away from the fossil fuel business into another profitable market, renewables being the clear choice. "So, the challenge now is finding ways to engage insurance capital to support renewables given the transition from a difficult loss history to potentially more profitable business given the new technology that is being deployed." We then look at where the pressure to move away from unsustainable energy risks has come from. Tom explains that here has been a recent surge in importance in ESG issues, but this has been building for over a decade. This pressure to be ESG conscious is coming from investors but also regulators. Finally, we discuss what insurers can and are going to do to remove themselves from the fossil fuel industry in order to achieve the 2030 target set by Lloyds. "It's going to be a decades-long process, because there cannot be a wholesale withdrawal, partly because some of these policies are tong-term policies. There are a number of commitments that are being signed up 'the net zero insurance alliance' and the UN's principles for sustainable insurance". If insurers begin to start focusing on getting ESG favourable contingent capital, from reinsurers and IOS funds as well as making the ESG pledges and shifting away from unsustainable business lines we should begin to see ESG favourable strategies falling into place. We hope you enjoyed this episode of Insurance Covered, if you did please subscribe to keep up to date with future episodes.

A look at personal accident insurance (With Peter Laidlaw)

Season 2, Ep. 17
Welcome to Insurance Covered. In this episode we are looking at personal accident insurance. Our guest this week is Peter Laidlaw, Head of the accident and health underwriting team at Atrium Underwriting. Peter specialises in writing a variety of risks, from K&R to our topic for today personal accident.We start by discussing what exactly personal accident insurance is and what is included within it. Peter explains that it is exactly what it sounds like, accidents or risks that put a human life at risk of injury or worse. This can include permanent disability, temporary absence from work through accident or sickness, medical expenses, critical illness. It also includes travel to dangerous areas.Peter goes on to explain that this kind of cover is often targeted towards high net worth individuals, celebrities and athletes are often the focus of these policies. We then look at a general example. If a premiership football team makes major investment to purchase a striker for £100m they would want to protect that investment. The team would take a policy out to make sure that if anything happens to that player that they basically would not lose the initial investment that they made. A policy would be written to protect against loss of value as a result of accident or injury to the player.We then look at where this kind of business comes from. Peter explains that a lot of the risks come from the US entertainment industry, for the obvious reason that it is so much bigger than in the UK. However he notes that there are still a number of celebrities and athletes on the books from outside of the US.Finally we discuss if it impacts the underwriting process when its a well known public figure. Peter explains that regardless of the individual they are seen as an asset in the same way a car or Yacht would be to prevent any kind of bias being present.We hope you enjoyed this episode of Insurance Covered, if you did please subscribe to be notified of future episodes.