Michiel Berende works on microinsurance and technologies for microinsurance as a freelance consultant for various organisations around the globe. Among those organisations are the Microinsurance Network, PharmAccess Foundation, the International Labour Organisation, the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Inter-American Development Bank, Dutch insurer Achmea, and others.
Michiel chairs the Microinsurance Network Technology Working Group. The focus areas for the Working Group include standardisation, data collection, communication, management information systems and services to support insurance practitioners and trainers working with these organisations.
Michiel previously was an underwriter and process manager for Dutch cooperative insurer Interpolis, nowadays a brand of Achmea. In this role he got involved in international microinsurance when he visited India in 2004. In India he supported DHAN Foundation in their search for insurance technology. Working at the grassroots inspired Michiel to go live and work in India. There he worked at the Tata - DHAN Academy where he established a knowledge centre for mutual insurance. In 2006 Michiel became a member of the CGAP Working Group on Microinsurance, nowadays called the Microinsurance Network.
Technology has played a large part in addressing the challenges faced by mutual and co-operative insurers in the developing world, but it is time for new and more innovative approaches to be considered.
Enabling huge areas of the globe develop insurance solutions depends very heavily on cheap and reliable technology. The demand for low cost insurance is growing at a phenomenal rate and as a result we’ve seen a large increase in the number of member and community based organisations (cooperatives and mutual) especially in the developing world. With enormous potential benefits to both state and consumer, low cost insurance provides a financial safety net to some of the lowest income families around the globe.