‘InsuResilience’~a Pro-Poor focus for Climate-Stressed and Vulnerable peoples

David Hewitt of United Nations University Institute ~ Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), introduces speakers  with interdisciplinary expertise on Climate Analytics, Risk Management and Insurance from the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) for the launch of their latest policy report entitled, ‘Making Climate Risk Insurance work for the most vulnerable : ‘InsuResilience’ ~ 7 Guiding Principles, at COP 22, Marrakech.

The MCII contributes to the learning process by presenting the results of a study that MCII did in the context of the G7 InsuResilience, called “Climate risk insurance for the poor & vulnerable: How to effectively implement the pro-poor focus of InsuResilience”.
Michael Zissener (Initiative Co-Ordinator) – in this study, we analyzed 18 case studies of climate risk insurance schemes by applying a mix of qualitative methods with the research applied to support the implementation of ‘InsuResilience’ by learning from existing insurance schemes, however, it should also be more broadly applied to guide policy-makers in realizing insurance as a tool to address Climate Risks.
Our main findings in the report indicate that ‘InsuResilience’ has in fact had a positive impact on resilience on three main fronts, viz; a) acts as a buffer in post impact situations through provided pay-outs enabling people to better absorb losses, b) increases savings and improves creditworthiness that promotes people in their investments and forward planning and c) motivates people to reduce their risks, as the greater the risk reduction the cheaper the premiums – targeted incentives.
Based on our analysis of the study, we developed the 7 Pro-Poor Principles – how insurance can be designed and implemented to actually benefit the people in need, which are : Comprehensive ‘needs-based’ solutions, Client value, Affordability, Accessibility, Participation, Sustainability and Enabling Environment. (see link below)

Thomas Loster (Chairman of Munich Re Foundation/Exec. Board member of MCII) expanded on the role of insurance in the Climate Change challenge.  MCII is a ‘think-tank’ striving to find solutions in the context of fighting poverty and sourcing solutions for better Climate Change adaptation.  Insurance became a factor for review and consideration at the Paris commitment and at the G7 summit in Germany, where it was decided to bring 400 million new ‘climate stressed’ people into Climate Risk insurance globally, with some 270 million poor people already micro-insured and adding 400M more is a huge revolutionary step on the political side.
Insurance is one pillar of adaptation for success after disasterous climatic events, in that it fills the financial gap after emergency measures have been implemented on sites, with the insurance becoming effective almost immediately thereafter.  This initiative will be operating until at least 2020 and the three T’s methodology by which we operate, viz’ Technique, Trust and Time will give us some 4 years of good collaboration between governments, decision-makers and the private sector, which is key to creating sound adaptation solutions, being one of the three T’s which is very important for sustainable and viable insurance solutions.

Christoph Bals (Vice-Chair at MCII and Policy Dir. of Germanwatch) not featured, but present on panel, stressed the importance of building up solid institutions for the poor and vulnerable of the world, in order that they can deal with impacts of global warming, with only 50% of poorest people globally contributing approximately 10% to global warming and 10 most affected countries experiencing weather extremes are all developing countries, with only 2% of weather catastrophies in low income countries being covered by insurance, i.e. 98% of people in these areas cannot afford insurance coverage.
Some of the main challenges in making insurance relevant for the poor in developing countries are amongst others – a regular minimum income, affordability of the products and marginalization which is an important element in addressing the principle of Participation.  It is a human rights obligation of all countries to identify the most vulnerable and to involve them in the necessary planning for adaptation, which also includes the basic human rights to food, water, shelter, etc.  Successful insurance schemes are based on the inclusive, meaningful and accountable involvement of the potential beneficiaries and other relevant stakeholders.

It is our duty and responsibility to ensure that the design and implementation processes are transparent and accountable and to establish an effective Monitoring and Evaluation framework that measures outputs, outcomes and impacts, including how relevant they are for the poor, to ensure that the insurance schemes actually reach and benefit the poor and vulnerable people of the world!

Links :
http://www.munichre-foundation.org/home/About-us/Environmental.html  (Munich Re Foundation ~ Thomas Loster – Chairman)
http://www.munichre-foundation.org/dms/MRS/Documents/Microinsurance/2016LandscapeAsia/Press-Release_12th-IMC_10-November-2016/Press Release_12th IMC_10 November  (Mobile Micro-Insurance covers 40 million in Asia)

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