Ipec urges Innovation Lab to come up with innovative solutions

Ipec urges Innovation Lab to come up with innovative solutions

Staff Writer


The Insurance and Pensions Commission says it is expecting   that the 3rd Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab will come up with innovative solutions to improve the penetration rate and provide adequate cover to small holder farmers and leave no woman farmer behind.

This comes as the Women in Insurance this week commemorated the International Insurance Awareness Day in the capital.

In her speech during the event, Director Corporate Services, Samantha Nhende said  the Commission was participating in the Innovation Lab focusing on Women small holder farmers in Zimbabwe.


“This is a call for innovation, to be innovative insurers and improve the access to insurance by women.
 

The 3rd Inclusive Insurance Innovation Lab, sponsored by Access to Insurance Initiative organization with its partners came at an opportune time for the Commission, as it is one of the projects that we are implementing to enhance inclusive insurance, given that most smallholder farmers have limited access to insurance. 

It is estimated that smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe produce about 70 percent of staple foods, i.e. maize, millet, and groundnuts, yet they have access to less than 5 percent of national irrigation facilities. 

The smallholder farmers largely depend on rainfall, which has become more unpredictable owing to the effects of climate change. It is our expectation that the lab will come up with innovative solutions to improve the penetration rate and provide adequate cover to small holder farmers and leave no woman farmer behind,” she said.


Since the inception of the lab in October 2021, Nhende said  IPEC has worked with Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii), InsureResilience Global Partnership and Reos Partners, to come up with a Zimbabwean country team that has been championing the work of coming up with innovative ways of mitigating the impact of climate-related risks.


Meanwhile Nhende said Microinsurance was an avenue for women inclusion. “The advent of microinsurance ladies, I believe, is a lifeline for many underserved women. Microinsurance offers a promising alternative for women without means to be in the conversation of insurance.

 

It offers the management of risks by offering recovery in the event of the insured event occurring.  Women, who are in the informal sector, have irregular incomes, especially in volatile environments, unlike women in the formal sector who can count on regular income/paycheck,”
she said.

Nhende challenged insurers to create relevant microinsurance products that meet the needs of low income women at the base of the pyramid, which should be able to manage risks, at affordable premiums.


Microinsurance, she added, represents a new frontier of development in our market, and there’s much work to be done towards creating a gender-sensitive microinsurance industry.


“As we celebrate International Insurance Awareness Day, we are all challenged to have insurance solutions that not only solve this difficulty, but raise fellow women in business, both informal and formal.

 

It’s crucial to understand how women combine microinsurance with existing risk management strategies, how their attitudes toward risk differ from those of men, and how microinsurance affects their rates of investment into businesses, savings behaviours, and household consumption.

I recently learnt a key lesson; As ladies can also learn from – not to try to be men but celebrate our uniqueness and use that to our advantage to bring other ladies up – this too can be applied to insurance through innovation,” she said.