The Insurance Development Forum (IDF) has begun its work with 90 public and private sector participants in an open forum in conjunction with the global insurance forum of the International Insurance Society (IIS).
The participants, who are engaged in eight working groups, took part in two days of deliberations during the IIS event in Singapore.
Stephen Catlin, IDF chair, believes this is the beginning of a critically important process that will result in specific insurance risk transfer, public policy and resilience recommendations to be considered by the newly appointed IDF steering committee at its late-September meeting to be held in New York in the margins of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly session.
“This public private partnership between insurers, the United Nations and the World Bank Group creates a once in a lifetime opportunity for insurers’ risk management skills to be applied to close the Protection Gap – affording the benefits of insurance in helping protect people and property from natural disaster risk. And protecting society by preventing future death, destruction and injury by building a more resilient infrastructure,” said Catlin.
Samuel Munzele Maimbo, practice manager, finance and markets, World Bank Group, noted the importance of this effort.
He said: “From the World Bank Group’s perspective it has become increasingly apparent that without the right risk management tools a lot of our development work will be much less effective as people could be pulled back into poverty due solely to one or two natural disaster events.
“With this partnership we have a unique opportunity to combine private sector tools and resources with public sector policies and incentives so that we can scale up successful insurance programs faster to respond to an increasing number of extreme disaster events.”
Quentin Coolen, senior political coordinator at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), added that for the UN, the IDF is not really about insurance, it’s about sustainable development.
“If development is not risk-informed, it is not sustainable. And who better than the insurance industry to contribute to a better measurement of risk? Clearly, the international policymaker community and insurers need each other.”
Catlin added: “To get this group of high level insurance executives together with the highest level of engagement from the UN and the World Bank Group is no mean feat. We are now in the spotlight and we have to deliver meaningful change - that is our intent.”
Insurance Development Forum, International Insurance Society, Singapore, Stephen Catlin, Insurance, North America, Risk management