Consumer protection in microinsurance: challenges and good practices from the Philippines and Colombia
We explore challenges and good practices in consumer protection in microinsurance, defining ‘consumer protection’ as the effective use of microinsurance products by low-income consumers to protect themselves against risk. Consumer protection challenges fall into four main categories: 1) education and information; 2) product and process design; 3) regulation and financial soundness; and 4) capacities and responsibilities. We explore examples from the Philippines and Colombia, and find that consumer protection is best viewed as an outcome, a view requiring all stakeholders, including consumers, to play an active role. Interventions to improve consumer protection outcomes should be informed by market conditions and ongoing monitoring to understand the effectiveness of existing measures and raise red flags as new needs emerge. Consumer protection efforts can further support the value proposition among consumers and also for other stakeholders, as they increase trust and help to ensure that microinsurance is valuable, effective, and sustainable for all stakeholders.