Cedric Stephens | Raising the debate on inclusive insurance | Company

Jamaica will be the host country for the International Conference on Inclusive Insurance, ICII 2022, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, from October 24-28. Foundation and the Microinsurance Network, headquartered in the UK.

The hybrid conference is expected to attract 400 delegates from over 50 countries.

Inclusive insurance, as defined by the Institute of International Finance and the Center for Financial Inclusion/Accion, is “access to and use of appropriate and affordable insurance products for the unserved and underserved, with a particular focus on vulnerable and low-income populations…new business models, technologies, product design and partnerships”.

The conference, according to a press release, will provide participants with the opportunity to showcase and discuss cutting-edge issues, policies and solutions for effective, sustainable and inclusive insurance products and promote the development and production of good values. insurance for emerging economies. It also aims to raise awareness of the demand for insurance in the low-income segment and examine its potential.

The meeting is being held following catastrophic weather events in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba, the United States of America and Pakistan. Many lives have been lost, the livelihoods of thousands of people have been disrupted, and billions of dollars in property, infrastructure and lost revenue have occurred due to these events. This succession of disasters occurred in 2022, as the global economy slowly emerged from the effects of a once-a-century global pandemic that is estimated to have claimed 6.5 million lives.

IMU President Sharon Donaldson said this is the first time in 20 years that the conference has been held in the Caribbean and Jamaica is extremely proud to be the host country. She also said that “many low-income groups are often unaware of the steps they can take to protect themselves financially. The insurance industry has a vital role to play in providing innovative insurance and financial products and education tailored to these groups”.

Dirk Reinhard, Vice Chairman of the Munich Re Foundation and Chair of the ICII 2022 Steering Committee, said risk management, including insurance, plays a key role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. “Recent floods, droughts and wildfires have shown that climate change is threatening the livelihoods of billions of people who lack access to affordable safety nets. Small island states are particularly vulnerable.

Munich Re has been managing global risks since 1880. Today, it has expertise and knowledge in all areas of competence related to the subject of risk. The Foundation’s work, according to its website, responds to major global challenges – the fight against poverty, environmental and climate change, water as a resource and risk factor, demographic development and disaster prevention – and supports people at risk.

“Insurance has the potential to make a significant and lasting contribution to public policy goals and close the global gap in protecting people,” said Katharine Pulvermacher, executive director of the Microinsurance Network. “Only a tiny fraction of emerging customers and small producers globally have insurance of any kind, even for the smaller, more frequent risks that can have a devastating effect on their economic well-being. obvious opportunity for the insurance industry.

This column has sought to elevate the discussion of risk – particularly over the past 12 months – beyond auto insurance limitations, claims delays and insurance industry regulations. insurance to broader issues of risk mitigation. Last week’s article, “Protecting Jamrock from Damage and Destruction,” was an example.

The shift in focus is in line with ideas expressed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in his June 2018 statement to the G7 Summit outreach session in Quebec, Canada: “Building resilience is not optional; it is imperative for our survival. Creative and innovative solutions must be found to design appropriate tools for risk mitigation, risk transfer and risk financing while ensuring broad participation in the solutions.

Finance and Health Ministers Dr Nigel Clarke and Dr Christopher Tufton, respectively, get the message. Non-governmental actors like the former head of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and architect, conservationist and advocate for the built natural environment, Dr. Patricia Green, are part of the public conversation.

The conference provides an excellent opportunity for local and regional policy makers, insurance practitioners, regulators, business people, lawyers, development partners, multilateral agencies, technology companies, members of academia and other political experts to better understand the changes taking place. in the risk transfer industry and the role they can play in promoting resilience.

Cedric E. Stephens provides independent information and advice on risk and insurance management. For free information or advice write to: [email protected] or [email protected]