Microinsurance

Microinsurance is one of the most fascinating and tricky types of pro-poor financial services that I’ve encountered.  The basic concept of insurance (be it for health, crops or life) is an incredibly powerful one in the face of exogenously varying incomes and the strong need for income smoothing and predictability, but it seems to suffer from the same problem as savings vs. microfinance – an existing emergency is a stronger incentive to ex-post savings than a predicted or potential emergency is to ex-ante savings.  Thus there seems to be a very real moral hazard of people joining insurance programs shortly before a planned medical expenditure or crop failure, in order to receive all of the benefits of membership without the burdensome advance saving that long-term membership would require.  Given that insurance, savings accounts, and microloans all represents systems of savings & disbursement, it seems possible to incentivize all of them similarly to promote ex-ante savings.  I wonder if there are any microinsurance agencies that pay their clients to sign up, which has been effective for encouraging regular savings accounts.