Incentivized disaster preparedness & gamification by SAADITHYA + SARKAR
Please find below the
Judge 1: Bravo. When can this become reality! Super needed around the world. Maybe the thing that could unlock the failing National Flood Insurance Program in the US! Overall, the simulations are nice, and and an interesting way to engage people. The team should work with established Disaster Management bodies in the project countries to supplement and avoid duplication.
Judge 2: I like the simulations. interesting way to engage people.
Judge 3: The concept of targeted insurance products, where insurance coverage and premiums are more closely aligned with the site specific characteristics and behavior is a compelling one. However, given the potential opportunity here for insurers, if such companies found this to be a useful product, wouldn't they be able to finance its development? We also wondered about the capacity of homeowners to implement changes that would allow them to become insured or reduce their insurance premiums.
Judge 4: Whether or not this project is feasible given its ambition and the small budget request is still open to question - even though this was raised by judges in the first round, it isn't fully addressed. The biggest question, not fully answered, is whether the project can succeed without the involvement of the private insurance sector - it would have been good to see at least one insurance company take an interest in it. Nevertheless, it remains a highly imaginative and impactful initiative. If it did work, it could do considerable good.
Furthermore, we like the VR aspect of practicing disaster preparedness, and still think this has great value. We are though ambivalent about the MOOC, and - though the emphasis on insurance is somewhat less this round - we are still not sold on the insurance piece (though we could be - now it seems to simply provide the information on existing insurance schemes, which could be useful - but does not address the question of why people do not take these up now. Presumably, people who have the online access this project requires would also have access to insurance information, so this may not reach the underserved. We would probably like the project better without the insurance angle!).
This is a very interesting idea and gamification can be an effective tool. We also like using it as a tool to increase awareness by consumers of the role of insurance in preparedness. We have two major concerns with this proposal. First, the scale seems too small to have effect. The very modest budget indicates supporting trainers but not enacting an outreach strategy to really get this applied on the ground. Second, there is a strong reliance on shifting burden to the insurance sector. We're not certain this will have the desired outcome of creating a more resilient society, especially given the ephemeral nature of private insurance. If this were to be effective it would seem to require having the insurance sector as a partner on this project such that they would be helping to use the tool to inform insurees (or potential insurees) and persuade governments to enact policies that more broadly decreased risk.
There are three components to this project: 1. Incentivising individuals to take action to increase disaster preparedness through linking action to insurance rates; 2. "Gamification" - allowing individuals to visualize disaster through video games; and 3. Providing information on educational opportunities via MOOCs. There are a number of challenges associated with points 1 and 2 (point 3 does not require much action on the part of the project team): 1. What is the business case for insurance of poor and vulnerable groups in developing nations? This may well work in an environment such as Texas, where the National Flood Insurance Program can be run at a loss, but who will underwrite this in India and Nepal without premiums becoming unaffordable? There is good discussion on pooling resources for group insurance, but how can this work in environments of insecure land tenure and informal settlements? Why not consider regional or national disaster insurance (e.g. along the lines of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility)? 2. The focus throughout this proposal is on disasters generally, with mentions of wildfires, hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes (the latter two are geophysical hazards, and perhaps beyond the scope of the climate change action, but the process could well be transferable). It would be better to have a pilot that focuses on one or two particular hazards, e.g. flooding and wildfires, for which preparations can be taken at the individual scale and for which exposure is known/can be approximated.
Nov 6, 2017
Thanks for your valuable feedback. Please find the answers to the following questions, we have incorporated this in our proposal, however we have found character limit a challenging factor while explaining a vast solution within the proposal so I have accommodated the information in various sections. For a straight answer to the questions please find the information below.
What is the business case for insurance of poor and vulnerable groups in developing nations?
Financial risk mitigation for private & government insurance sector by improving the disaster preparedness measures, educating people about the skills to cope the disaster, empowering people with technology to overcome disaster challenges & strictly following disaster mitigation guidelines & rules.
Insurecolab generates income from each disaster insurance policy sold through the platform, policy renewals, in the event of disaster they also gets compensation for mitigating financial burden on insurance companies, these funds are mainly utilized for developing technological infrastructure to overcome disaster challenges & predicting challenges before they occur.
There is good discussion on pooling resources for group insurance, but how can this work in environments of insecure land tenure and informal settlements?
Pooling resources for group insurance may work well, initially we have seen people hesitant to even share a cab or use pool cab but now it is very popular, now everyone is talking about co-working spaces. So we don’t see any reason pool insurance shouldn’t work.
The answer to insecurity of land tenure & informal settlements is blockchain based insurance coverage with smart contracts. Blockchain is the building block between people & insurance companies that brings back the trust & security.
It would be better to have a pilot that focuses on one or two particular hazards, e.g. flooding and wildfires, for which preparations can be taken at the individual scale and for which exposure is known/can be approximated.
Yes we have focused our pilot on flood which is climate change related disaster.
This may well work in an environment such as Texas, where the National Flood Insurance Program can be run at a loss, but who will underwrite this in India and Nepal without premiums becoming unaffordable?
Yes, NFIP allows anyone to cover their house by paying the insurance amount and cover for flood insurance for their property but it fails to take any preventive measures or encourage preparedness measures to cope the disaster so in turn government end up in debt. The National Flood Insurance Program was $24 billion in debt at the beginning of 2014 as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Sandy.
So when it is launched in India & Nepal importance is given in preventing & mitigating the risk caused from flood, this in turn will ensure that the insurance doesn’t run in loss but in a sustainable manner. Also the proposed program also focuses on predicting the disaster and making rapid evacuation of life & property which is sponsored by Insurance companies. This is achieved by training volunteers and people with the right skillset to save their life, their property and lives of others.
First, the scale seems too small to have effect. The very modest budget indicates supporting trainers but not enacting an outreach strategy to really get this applied on the ground.
The medium used as solution here is mostly digital & virtual which explains the modest budget. We understand from your feedback the importance of have an outreach strategy to get this applied on the ground, this will require volunteers on ground and needs larger funds, the best way I can think of making a start is by collaborating with schools & colleges, if we can get young kids & young people to think about the importance of disaster preparedness and who act as ambassadors for disaster preparedness then they can reach each family. We have added Outreach activities for volunteers in schools & colleges in the budeget - $20000
Second, there is a strong reliance on shifting burden to the insurance sector. We're not certain this will have the desired outcome of creating a more resilient society, especially given the ephemeral nature of private insurance.
Let us imagine there is no Insurecolab or such a platform, the usual thing happens where customers pay for a disaster insurance and procure their insurance and in the event of a disaster they claim their insurance here insurance company loses millions of dollars the entire burden is already on them.
Now let us imagine there is Insurecolab or such a platform, here customers before taking the insurance have to pay high premium fee for insurance if they don’t adhere to rules and preparedness measures, whereas customers who abide by disaster preparedness rules & measures can get their disaster insurance for an affordable price. This also create a lot of awareness for the customers that could even save their lives.
Now in the event of disaster they are prepared to face the disaster, they have the technical know-how to overcome the challenge. Since they are abiding by disaster preparedness measures & rules that have been researched to minimize loss of property & lives. The cost private insurance companies have to pay is significantly low as losses are minimal and most importantly they can save irreplaceable human lives.
So here we think there is no over dependency on the private insurance sector but a better preparedness measure and technical know-how will minimize the losses mutually for all. After all prevention is better than cure.
Thanks & regards