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Microinsurance: A Large Untapped Market


  • Susan Steiner
  • Lena Giesbert


In tandem with the growth of microloans and microsavings, insurance policies geared towards low-income households have also become increasingly widespread over the past decade in developing and emerging countries. There is hope that microinsurance will allow large segments of the population who lack access to government social security to insure themselves against adverse life events, thus helping to safeguard their economic well-being. Yet much work is to be done if this goal is to be attained. On the one hand, the availability of microinsurance is still extremely limited. On the other hand, potential and current microinsurance customers do not place much trust in insurance providers. They also lack knowledge about specific insurance products, as shown by our investigation of a microinsurance policy in Ghana. Yet another factor is that many commercial insurers still have not managed to adapt to the particularities of the microinsurance market.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Steiner & Lena Giesbert, 2010. "Microinsurance: A Large Untapped Market," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 6(33), pages 245-249.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwrp:wr6-33

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    Cited by:

    1. Lena Giesbert & Susan Steiner, 2015. "Client Perceptions of the Value of Microinsurance: Evidence from Southern Ghana," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 15-35, January.
    2. Lena Giesbert and Susan Steiner, 2011. "Perceptions of (Micro)Insurance in Southern Ghana: The Role of Information and Peer Effects," GIGA Working Paper Series 183, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

    More about this item


    Microinsurance; Low-income households; Risk; Ghana;

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa


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