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Opportunity International’s MicroEnsure Named Runner-up

By Opportunity International

Congratulations to Opportunity International’s subsidiary MicroEnsure, which has been named runner-up for the 2010 Financial Times Sustainable Banking Award for Banking at the Base of the Pyramid.

MicroEnsure was recognized for its successful health insurance product serving the low-income market in India. This was the first product in India to provide coverage for maternity and pre-existing illnesses from the first day of the policy and allows premiums to be paid in flexible installments. The product costs approximately $10 per year for a family of four people and provides service on a cashless basis.

The Financial Times and International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced these awards at a ceremony in London on June 3, attended by more than 250 senior bankers and industry leaders. MicroEnsure was selected from among 155 entrants from 46 countries.

Opportunity‘s MicroEnsure has partnered with a range of microfinance organizations, nonprofits working in slum areas, and church-run hospitals to launch the health insurance product. In the last month, MicroEnsure has extended the product to over 200,000 farmers in India’s Maharashtra state.

In addition to health insurance, MicroEnsure provides credit life, term life/hospital, property and weather-index crop insurance to more than one million policyholders living in the poorest areas of the world. We are grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their funding, which is greatly increasing access to our insurance products in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

In 2009, MicroEnsure won the Financial Times Sustainable Banking Award for Achievement in Basic Needs Financing for its pioneering development of weather-index crop insurance in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

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