DRI Working Paper No. 12
By Jonathan Morduch, Public Policy and Economics, NYU
Micro-insurance: the next revolution?
The most recent reminder of nature’s vast power came in 1998 when Hurricane Mitch sat over Nicaragua for ten days. Three thousand people are reported to have died, and twenty percent of the population suffered directly. Even today, four years later, the hurricane is cited to explain disrepair and dislocation. While Mitch was particularly devastating, hurricanes course through the Caribbean with regularity. Nevertheless, most citizens and businesses cannot buy insurance against weather-related risks; as in much of the developing world, insurance markets are thin and public responses are limited. Health insurance, life insurance, property insurance – all are unobtainable for average citizens in most of the world, and this is doubly so for the poorest. Below, I describe why this is so, and how new ideas can change things . . .