Building the foundations for a sustainable future through mutual microinsurance

25 July 2022

ICMIF and DHAN Foundation

More than 700 million people, or 10% of the world’s population, live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than USD 1.90 per day. Living in such extreme circumstances, microinsurance can provide a lifeline to many people around the world. That is why the work of The ICMIF Foundation (established in 2015) to strengthen resilience in underserved communities and reduce the life-changing effects of natural disaster and climate change is so important

A recent webinar jointly hosted by the Asia and Oceania Association of ICMIF (AOA) and ICMIF, “The ICMIF Foundation – The secret of our success so far…”, showcased the work of three ICMIF members: RIMANSI (Philippines); The DHAN Foundation (India); and CARD MRI (Philippines).

In the webinar, Jun Jay E. Perez, Executive Director, RIMANSI (Philippines), showcased how the Philippines has great potential for supplying microinsurance. It has a population of around 100 million people and 53% of the low-income sector was not being served by microinsurance in 2014. RIMANSI is a project partner of ICMIF’s 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy (The 5-5-5), The ICMIF Foundation’s first mutual microinsurance programme. Jun Jay shared with us that over the last five years, through the 5-5-5 project in the Philippines, Rimansi has enrolled more than 1.9 million new members in the Mutual Benefit Associations (MBAs); equating to over 9.8 million insured individuals now having mutual life insurance. Thanks to the Foundation’s financial partners, more than USD 500,000 has been generated in support of the programme and the funding cost per insured is only USD 0.27 and USD 0.05 per life impacted.

The DHAN Foundation (pictured above) is a pioneering non-governmental organisation (NGO) in India and also a project partner of the 5-5-5. Their ultimate goal is poverty eradication. The ICMIF Foundation’s collaboration with the DHAN Foundation has allowed an increase in the education of low-income households, teaching them about how to save, credit remittance, pensions and money transfers. This partnership strives for sustainable mutual insurance and offers insurance that last a lifetime, not only up to the age of 68 which is the norm for people otherwise in India. Ahila Devi, Chief Executive of the People Mutuals, Dhan Foundation (India), explains that at DHAN, the aim is to stay financially sound. This is being achieved by transferring part of the risk to backup insurance companies and utilising a reinsurance arrangement with People Mutuals.

Dr Aris Alip, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, CARD MRI (Philippines), shared his experiences of CARD microinsurance. He explained that there are three approaches to CARD MRI’s microinsurance offerings. Firstly, there is the CARD MBA, which is owned by the members, it focuses on life insurance. Secondly, there is CaMIA, a broker company of CARD. Lastly, a joint venture of CARD with Pioneer; this is called CARD Pioneer, where the focus is on non-life insurance. CARD MBA is currently the largest mutual insurer in the Philippines and is insuring roughly 27 million people. The total amount paid out by CARD MBA for insurance claims is more than USD 291 million to the lowest-income families in the area. CARD Pioneer has so far sold USD 93 million worth in premiums and paid almost USD 40 million in claims.

With ICMIF members’ help, The ICMIF Foundation is striving to strengthen resilience in underserved communities by supporting the provision of mutual microinsurance and additional services and building better knowledge of mutual microinsurance programmes around the world.

To find out more about The ICMIF Foundation and what it does, visit the website at

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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