Milk Project

Microinsurance Learning and Knowledge (MILK) Project

Do low-income families really benefit from microinsurance?
Is it true that there is a business case for microinsurance?

The MILK Project, a three-year initiative of the MicroInsurance Centre at Milliman which ended in 2014, was designed to help answer these questions.

With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and close collaboration with the ILO's Microinsurance Innovation Facility, MILK focused on providing answers to these questions based on data and research. Through a better understanding of client value and the business case in microinsurance, stakeholders are better informed, better prepared, and better able to make rational decisions about their interventions in microinsurance. By testing key assumptions, we also gained a more realistic vision for microinsurance.

Visit our MILK Project YouTube Channel to watch videos created during fieldwork!



In an effort to further disseminate lessons learned and officially conclude the project in 2014, the MILK team toured Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Munich, Manila, Miami, Dar es Salaam, Singapore, Johannesburg, Abuja and Lagos. Drawing on three years of research with dozens of microinsurance programs across the globe, the MILK team presented on key issues of client value and business case in microinsurance, and the balance of these two sometimes conflicting goals. Event participants were impressed by the material, calling it an “eye opener” and "inspiring". See below for reactions to the MILK tour. 

MILK TOUR REACTIONS: See Michael McCord quoted in the latest edition of Global Envision.

 *See exciting reactions from some of the attendees below**

"Two thumbs up for the MILK project! The MILK summary 'Beyond the Actuary's guess' is a must-read. If the MILK tour comes to your town, go out and watch it." -Martin Hintz, Microinsurance Expert and Project Manager, Allianz SE

“I am very impressed by the scope and level of detail of MILK’s research and conclusions. This takes our understanding of microinsurance a great leap forward and will be very useful for future work on microinsurance.”  -Thomas Wiechers, Advisor (Insurance Markets) Project „Making Finance Work for Africa“ (MFW4A), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

“The results of the MILK-project help to better understand the (financial) risk management of the poor and what role insurance can and cannot play to improve those. It clearly shows the benefit of microinsurance but also how important it is to understand the client. The MILK Briefs are a “Must-read” for every microinsurance practitioner and should become part of any future microinsurance curriculum”  -Dirk Reinhard, Vice Chairman, Munich Re Foundation

"I really appreciate your efforts to provide us with this training on MILK. The knowledge I acquired from your work will provide me with a better approach to my clients." -Eric Oba, Keystone Banking

 "I found the presentation quite insightful as it was refreshing to hear and review facts from other microinsurance markets across the globe.  I see us going back to the drawing board on some projects at hand based on the additional information from the session."   -Talbi D. Olatayo, Travel and Retail, Zenith General Insurance

“Michael and Rick painstakingly took us through the “ins and outs” of the microinsurance industry across the globe, they were patient and answered all of our questions. The real life case studies helped us to better understand the data and extrapolate the findings to the Nigerian environment. The session was insightful and relatable to our local environment.”  -Isioma Olowu, Product Development, Zenith Insurance

“My take home for yesterday's MILK session is that having the fore knowledge that "Nigerian insurance buyers are both "price and trust" sensitive. We need to be innovative in identifying some channels that will help customers to begin discovering the "value" to buy the insurance on their own. The future of insurance in Nigeria lies with S.U.A.V.E. Microinsurance" -Leo AkahDeputy Director of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM

"The researchers are obviously passionate about their topic and shared a great deal of that passion with us. The messages delivered by their work were an eye opener; microinsurance may be maturing as a business model, but there is so much still left to do for it to become an actual service!" - Alexia Hetzel, Project Officer, Communications and Knowledge Management, ADA

"The Milk class is a true tour-de-force. Years of research and learnings packed into a couple of engaging hours with such precision that you don’t get lost in the wealth of insights, and which incidentally will trigger some paradigms to shift!"  -Veronique Faber, Executive Director, the Microinsurance Network

"The 15 MILK case studies provide excellent evidence and close the gap between ‘anecdotal assumptions’ and hard facts, even if some results may have been already  anticipated." -Gaby Ramm, Independent Microinsurance Consultant

“Thought-provoking, engaging and very insightful: The MILK workshop on the magical balance between client value and business case is definitely worth attending by anyone with an interest in microinsurance”  -Annalisa Bianchessi, Communications Coordinator, Microinsurance Network 

“Thanks for the great presentation -Alex Nisichenko, Investment Officer, LeapFrog Investments

 "For me it was a very educative session in the ‎sense that, it made me appreciate the different types of products and operation around the world.  Most importantly, to have the team present to answer questions was great.  It also brought into light, the real benefits of the products we offer to the clients- whether it meets their needs or not.   ‎For me, what I learnt from the presentation was that the success of a microinsurance operation does not only depend on the CreditLife products, but on diverse distribution channel and innovative products that will meet the needs of the low income earner."  -Afua Boahemaa DonkorExecutive Director, Star Microinsurance 

Thank you so much for the presentation today, it was informative and edifying.“ -Bolorunduro Joshua Segun, Nigerian Insurers Association



Pictured above, Rick Koven, Michael J. McCord and Barbara Magnoni presenting MILK in Abuja, Nigeria, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Frankfurt, Germany

Quote of the Day

"Regulations are way behind the reality" - Reto Schnarwiler | Head Americas and EMEA Global Partnerships, Swiss Re

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