CHAPTER 7. Microinsurance

MABS launched the microinsurance initiative to provide basic microinsurance services for clients of rural banks by establishing collaborative relationships with commercial insurers. Using the partner-agent model, MABS facilitated agreements between RBAP and 11 insurance providers. RBAP-MABS took this further by collaborating with the Philippine Life Insurance Association for an economic use of resources to educate insurers and launch collective efforts for market promotion and policy advocacy. RBAP, with MABS’ support, also coordinated policy initiatives concerning microinsurance with the Department of Finance, the Insurance Commission and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which resulted in key issuances on microinsurance for the rural bank sector.

With almost 600 member rural banks in the Philippines, RBAP recognized the need to facilitate registration of their members in order not to overwhelm BSP and the Insurance Commission with members applying for approval. With direction and support from the MABS Program, as well as a timely grant from the International Labour Organization’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility, the Rural Bankers Research and Development Foundation promoted a “one-stop-shop” for rural bank microinsurance training and license accreditation that resulted in more than 192 rural banks being trained. MABS led efforts to develop the training curriculum for RBRDFI, providing assistance as it offered courses and worked with member rural banks to compile and complete their microinsurance agent applications. In developing the training curriculum, MABS and RBRDFI met with partner insurance companies, the Philippine Life Insurance Association, and the Insurance Commission.

In addition, RBRDFI tested the training curriculum, lessons from which prompted MABS to adjust the format to develop the Train, Request, Assemble, Choose, and Submit process, which is used to train and facilitate the microinsurance agent license application process for all rural banks today. The process prescribes the following steps for rural banks:

  1. Train in microinsurance basic and product mastery
  2. Request a no-objection notice from BSP
  3. Assemble a microinsurance core team
  4. Choose a partner-insurance provider
  5. Submit complete requirements to RBRDFI

In formalizing the licensing process for microinsurance agents, the Insurance Commission issued Circular 6-2011, which outlined training requirements and sets qualification standards for training curricula and training organizations. The RBRDFI training program designed by MABS was the first to be approved by the Insurance Commission as an accredited training organization for rural banks and remains the main trainer for interested and qualified rural banks to become licensed as microinsurance agents.

In an effort to facilitate the full process of rural bank licensing, MABS worked with RBRDFI, BSP, and the Insurance Commission to ensure efficiency in developing the one-stop-shop for rural bank licensing. In this process, MABS assisted RBRDFI in developing procedures and steps for member rural banks to compile documents and complete the application and training requirements. By developing a turnkey approach to all aspects of the application process, including approved templates and standardized checklists, the level of effort required to review and approve applications by BSP and the Insurance Commission was improved.

Regerio Aarreza and his wife, pictured here in October 2009, are clients of Cantilan Bank. They are beneficiaries of the bank’s microinsurance product, which was expanded after changes to regulations that allowed the bank to partner with insurance companies to offer a range of services.

By June 2012, 427,158 individuals (133,396 principal insureds and 293,762 dependents) were covered by regulated microinsurance products offered through 158 rural bank units. MABS also assisted RBAP in capitalizing on technology for better access to microinsurance information by rural banks, insurance providers, government regulators, and the international community, with the development of a comprehensive microinsurance marketing and management toolkit, an online resource portal (, and the pilot use of SMS to promote awareness and improve servicing for microinsurance clients.[21]

[21]See the video on the MABS Microinsurance initiative in the attached DVD or online at


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