MiCRO launched as protection for Haiti’s grassroots entrepreneurs

Swiss Re is helping bring innovation to bear so Haiti’s micro-entrepreneurs can protect themselves against the economic aftermath of future severe natural disasters through a first-of-its kind, scalable microinsurance program.

Against the backdrop of more intense disasters, Swiss Re and its partners are working towards offering people who traditionally have not had access to insurance a simple form of coverage to protect them against the impacts of natural catastrophes.

In this first-of-its kind program, Swiss Re and other sponsors will work with microfinance companies to offer Haiti’s grassroots entrepreneurs, the poor who run small businesses to provide for their families, a solution to help them get back on their feet after tragic events. The critical need for such a recovery mechanism was clearly demonstrated by the devastating earthquake of January 2010 that took over 220,000 lives.

MiCRO (Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organization) offers microinsurance policies that use an innovative settlement process to distribute claims payments. These policies make post-disaster claims payouts in a manner that is fast and transparent to policy holders.

MiCRO has launched its pilot coverage with a leading microfinance institution, Fonkoze, with the long term vision of eventually protecting Haitians from risks in addition to severe natural disasters.

Fonkoze, Haiti’s largest microfinance institution (MFI), works with their 50,000 clients to provide the tools people need to lift themselves out of poverty. They have already made these catastrophe protection micro-policies available and coverage is expected to grow as more MFIs join the program and other insurance products are developed.

The project’s international stakeholders, including Swiss Re, the governments of the UK and Switzerland, Guy Carpenter, CGM Gallagher Group, Mercy Corps and Caribbean Risk Managers Limited (CaribRM, the CCRIF managers), will also look to expand the program to additional countries over time. The endeavor’s exponential growth potential means it is not only commercially viable but can also help impoverished people around the world.

The first risks that will be covered are earthquakes, hurricanes and flooding.

For more information on this unique partnership and how Haiti’s grassroots entrepreneurs will benefit, read the news release issued by the founders.

Published 13 April 2011

Swiss Re Global Partnerships

Engaging with the world allows us to find more robust solutions to common perils. There are limits to what the insurance industry can achieve alone; some risks will require a broader approach involving...

Read the whole story

New approaches to US flood coverage

Swiss Re sponsors a Best Review global webinar on the topic of New Approaches to Flood Coverage as the US Congress debates the reform and future of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Read the whole story