Pakistan joined the MEFIN Network in January 2016 to benefit from the global learning on microinsurance through the MEFIN Network, which partners with local partners, including the insurance industry, to promote microinsurance. Public and private sector representatives of the member countries can become members of the MEFIN and contribute with their experience in microinsurance, to shape the innovative and sustainable business models that provide value to clients. Pakistan is the newest member of the Network, which serves a regional platform for the peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge and experiences on inclusive insurance.
At the time of independence in 1947, Pakistan had five domestic and 77 foreign insurance companies. These were regulated under the Insurance Act of 1938. In 1948, the government established the Department of Insurance within the domain of the Ministry of Commerce to supervise the insurance industry and safeguard the interests of the insured. The Act was amended in 1958 in view of the requirements of the domestic market and to have effective control over the insurance premium rates. Various amendments followed.
Pakistan is the 33rd largest country in the world in terms of area and the world's fifth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212.2 million. In 1947 Pakistan was formed as an independent nation for Muslims. In 1956, it adopted a new constitution becoming an Islamic republic. Pakistan has a semi-industrialized economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector. It is characterized by being an emerging and being among the growth-leading economies of the world.
Pakistan has made substantial progress in reducing poverty, achieving the second-lowest headcount poverty rate in South Asia. According to the Asian Development Bank in Pakistan, 24.3% of the population lives below the national poverty line in 2015. Regarding the economy, the pakistani stock exchange has been among the highest performing in Asia, and the country's nominal GDP per Capita accounts for $1,388 in 2019. Pakistan's Gini ratio, the coefficient that measures the inequality among income distribution, lies at 33.5 and the HDI at 0.560, ranking 152nd in the world. The MEFIN Network convenes Public-Private Dialogues (PPDs) as one of its strategies in promoting and developing inclusive insurance in the region. The first MEFIN PPD was held on July 12, 2016, in Manila, the Philippines, within the same regular organizational meetings of the Network's Technical Working Groups (TWGs) and Regional Steering Committee (RSC). The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan is a founding member of MEFIN and is working closely with GIZ RFPI Asia to advance microinsurance in the country.
SMEs constitute nearly 90% of all the enterprises in Pakistan; they employ 78% of the non-agricultural labor force, and their share in the annual GDP accounts for more than 30%. Looking into these numbers, one can foresee that this segment holds great potential for financial institutions to effort towards achieving financial inclusion for the masses.
In the 1970s Pakistan’s government nationalized all insurance companies and created a large state-run conglomerate. Today this conglomerate is known as State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan. The Department of Insurance created the controlling agency for insurance for the same purpose. This was abolished in 2000 when the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) was made responsible for supervising the insurance sector in the country.
Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world, with an estimated population of 212.2 million in 2019. Out of the total population, approximately 40% are multidimensionally poor according to the Multidimensional Poverty Index. The proportion of people identified as multidimensionality poor in urban areas is significantly lower than in rural areas - 10% and 55% respectively. This population segment is vulnerable to climate-related hazards, which can have severe repercussions on their economic and social wellbeing. With the cost of care, unplanned emergencies, education, marriage, and medical treatment rising faster than current funding structures can support and the low levels of income, the outlook for microinsurance in Pakistan is highly favourable.