Aug 18, 2021
Michael McCord is a Principal
and Managing Director at the MicroInsurance Centre in Milliman’s
Appleton, WI office. With over 25 years in the industry, Michael
saw a growing demand for insurance for low-income individuals, but
very few resources to support them. This market is vastly
underserved because their needs are different. When thinking about
how to service this demographic, the insurance industry needs to
take on a complete paradigm shift. Michael explains why in this
- A little bit about Michael and what he does for
- Very quickly, Michael realized that when
low-income people did better and started moving up the ladder, a
small disaster would occur, and they were right back on the
- When Michael, who has spent time throughout
Africa, went to suggest the concept of insurance to help the people
of Uganda, his idea was rejected.
- Michael has spoken to different types of
executives in this field, the reason why so many companies target
the “upper market” is because they don’t know how to access this
lower-margin market and help more people.
- How do you define microinsurance?
- Selling insurance to low-income people has a
lot of moving pieces. This means you have to be on the ground and
talking to people to really understand their unique
- Michael lists some of the challenges with
serving this particular market segment.
- There are four pillars to making microinsurance
successful. Michael shares a bit of back story as to
- The reality is, there isn’t enough money in
these policies. The margins are low, but you make up for it in
- Is there more of an acceptance from regulators
on the need for microinsurance?
- Michael shares an example of why a freemium
model doesn’t work in this space.
- Michael breaks down how the insurance industry
has to think differently for this demographic by sharing some
common challenges people are running into, and how microinsurance
helps fill that gap.
- Michael is doing a women’s risk insurance
profile in Kenya. He shares some of his insights so
- Climate change is a real problem. Michael is
seeing first-hand the impacts of it and the people who deeply
depend on agriculture to survive.
- What does Michael wish he’d known about at the
beginning of his career?
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Michael on LinkedIn
“Microinsurance is specifically
designed for low-income people. This is an active piece of the
“We’re going to do a $500 policy
for low-income people. How do we operationally do that differently?
It’s a paradigm shift. Low-income people need money within hours,
“We have to define
microinsurance with regulators, how to distribute it, who can
distribute it, what technology they can use. We need to get all
four of those pieces and if we don’t do a piece of that, then it
will always fail.”