Karen Pauli is a research director in the insurance practice at TowerGroup, a research and advisory services firm.In March 2010, TowerGroup released a report entitled, “Microinsurance: Can A $1.00 Premium Represent Both Market Opportunity and Lessons in Innovation?” Written by Karen Pauli, the consulting firm’s research director of insurance, the study defines and explores what can only be called a unique market segment, and offers lessons to be learned from those who have already participated.

Pauli sat down with Claims Magazine to answer some claim-related questions about microinsurance, including how claims are handled, why there are no investigations into losses, and why carriers should not ignore an area that could hold great promise, despite the fact that, as Pauli puts it, innovation during economic turmoil can sometimes be viewed as a dirty word.

Briefly explain the concept of microinsurance. Can you give an example of such a policy and what it might cover?

Microinsurance is insurance coverage targeted at low-income individuals who are generally not served by standard commercial insurers. Microinsurance is characterized by small premiums (sometimes as low as 60 cents), and low policy limits (a life insurance policy with a face amount of $500).

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