In 2002, Opportunity International, one of the world's largest and fastest growing microfinance organisations, began to look at the possibility of providing microinsurance for its existing loan clients in the developing world.
The first tasks for this special project included a careful assessment of the market potential and research among 10,000 Opportunity clients to determine their needs.
It was apparent that there was a large demand for microinsurance products. Although life, funeral, and property were the first products to be introduced, it was realised that health and crop insurance were often the most in demand by the poor. So as early as 2005, the first pilot test of an innovative weather index crop insurance scheme started with groundnut farmers in Malawi to provide protection against drought. This was the first of many product innovations to be introduced by the organisation.
By 2005 the insurance operations were growing so rapidly that the Micro Insurance Agency was established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Opportunity International in order to concentrate exclusively on developing and expanding microinsurance to meet global demand.
In 2008, the Micro Insurance Agency became MicroEnsure, a new identity to better reflect our leadership status in the market, our innovation, and aspirations to serve the poor throughout the developing world.
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If you are interested to see how our products have developed over the years then visit our Facebook page where we have built a timeline for MicroEnsure showing when we opened offices, launched products and hit certain outreach targets.