How insurtechs are bridging the gap in microinsurance

One of the most transformative impacts of insurtech is in the realm of microinsurance.

Insurtech plays a pivotal role in making insurance accessible and affordable to low-income populations and underserved markets.

According to the WHO, in 2021, about 4.5 billion people lacked full coverage for essential health services. Among them, 344 million were sinking deeper into extreme poverty due to unaffordability of such basic and important needs.

Understanding microinsurance

Microinsurance is designed to provide financial protection to individuals with low incomes often excluded from traditional insurance markets. It covers a range of risks, including health, life, agriculture, and property, offering smaller coverage amounts.

This also comes with the benefit of lower premiums that low-income households can afford.

The challenge with microinsurance has traditionally been its sustainability and reach, given the high administrative costs and the difficulty in reaching dispersed, low-income populations.

This is where insurtech comes in.

The role of insurtech in microinsurance

As we have seen in previous articles, insurtech—a term that combines “insurance” and “technology”—is revolutionizing traditional insurance practices by leveraging digital technologies to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer experiences.

This can be seen in:

 1. Mobile technology

Mobile phones are ubiquitous even in low-income communities, making them an ideal medium for distributing microinsurance products.

Microinsurance providers use MNOs – mobile network operators – for policy issuance, premium collection, and claims processing, significantly reducing operational costs and making microinsurance viable in both the short and long term.

 2. Blockchain technology

Unlike conventional insurance, which usually sets high margins, microinsurance sustains itself with smaller margins but with a very large pool.

Blockchain can enhance transparency and trust in microinsurance by providing a secure and immutable ledger of transactions. This is particularly useful in preventing fraud and ensuring that claims are processed swiftly and accurately.

 3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & machine learning

AI and machine learning algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to assess risk more accurately and personalize insurance products. Such technologies can help design affordable insurance products tailored to the specific needs of low-income customers.

 4. Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT devices can provide real-time data that helps in better risk assessment and management. For example, in agricultural microinsurance, IoT sensors can monitor weather conditions and crop health, enabling more precise insurance coverage and quicker claim settlements.

 5. Drones

Drones are emerging as valuable tools in the microinsurance sector, especially in agriculture.

They can monitor crop health and growth conditions, offering detailed insights that improve risk assessment. Specifically, they can reach hard-to-access areas for monitoring and assessment by insurers, thereby minimizing administrative costs and saving time.

Examples of insurtech in microinsurance

Several U.S. insurance companies are at the forefront of deploying insurtech solutions for microinsurance:


While primarily known for renters and homeowners’ insurance, Lemonade’s AI-driven platform is a model for how technology can streamline insurance processes.

Their approach of using AI for policy management and claims processing can be adapted to microinsurance markets. For instance, Lemonade uses AI to assess claims based on photos of goods.

By minimizing administrative costs, micro insurers can offset operational expenses, thereby reducing premium rates in the long run.


Through its subsidiary Allianz X, the company invests in insurtech startups focusing on underserved markets.

They have supported ventures like BIMA, which uses mobile technology to offer affordable microinsurance products in developing countries. The latter’s insurance products range from life and health insurance to personal accident coverage.

Ric Micro Parametric

Ric is actively transforming the U.S. parametric catastrophe insurance market through a strong commitment to innovation.

By utilizing parametric insurance models, Ric provides quick and efficient payouts based on predefined parameters like rainfall levels during major flooding events.

Final thoughts

Insurtech is playing a crucial role in expanding the reach and efficiency of microinsurance.

By harnessing mobile technology, blockchain, AI, and others, insurtech companies are overcoming traditional barriers and making insurance accessible to those most marginalized.

As these technologies continue to evolve, they promise to bring even greater innovations to the microinsurance sector, fostering financial inclusion and resilience among low-income populations.

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