The Climate Insurance and Adaptation Program (PICAP) of the United Nations Capital Development Fund for the Pacific has had great success in increasing the adoption of insurance products in the country through its partnership with the sector private in Fiji.
These lessons on PICAP’s innovative approach to accelerating recovery by developing an insurance solution that links existing community structures with the private sector to build resilience at the local level will be shared at a high-level meeting in Brisbane, Australia next week.
This year’s Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will bring together 3,000 ministerial representatives from across Asia and the Pacific, and UNCDF is one of them.
Akata Taito, Coordinator of PICAP’s Inclusive Insurance Solutions Center, will join an expert panel on “Enabling Resilience and Accelerated Recovery” on day four of the conference.
Ms. Taito said the conference was one of the biggest events and a great platform for PICAP to share some of the innovative solutions that had been rolled out in Fiji and their effectiveness in increasing insurance take-up in the country.
Although she joined the program just a few months ago, Ms. Taito is no stranger to the field of insurance and climate adaptation as she has worked in the same space for nearly 11 years. at the Reserve Bank of Fiji.
Ms Taito said Pacific Islanders were resilient to climate-related events because of their strong community network.
However, the recent frequency of natural disasters has shown that community support is no longer sufficient in terms of building resilience and this is where PICAP steps in to ensure that solutions exist to ensure resilience and prepare people. vulnerable communities.
Ms Taito said that during recent natural disasters, particularly in the aftermath of TC Winston, vulnerable groups have had to dip into their pension funds with the Fiji National Provident Fund for assistance.
She said funds offered as relief to people affected during these natural disasters have been reallocated by the government from other development plans to help people build resilience.
“The solution we have found is to ensure that the risks are not fully borne by the government or the community, but have spread to the private sector such as insurance companies.
Ms. Taito said she worked with the private sector, such as mobile network operators and insurance companies, to implement the project.
“Insurance is a relatively technical field and when we bring in new players or new clients, we need to make sure they are well informed about the solutions we are putting in place. But at the same time, they see value and they constantly pay for the premium and cover themselves in the years to come.
Ms Taito said that over the years significant progress has been made and thanks to the solutions introduced to the market.
She said the first demand survey conducted by the RBF in 2014 showed that only 12% of Fijians had some form of insurance.
As part of their Pacific Climate Adaptation and Insurance Program, they had worked with the private sector to deliver the innovative bundled insurance product which led to an increase in insurance take-up to 41% in 2019.
Ms Taito said the bundled microinsurance scheme had seen 1,388 people sign up for the product and they planned to increase the number to over 4,000 in the near future.
“The event itself gives us the opportunity to showcase what we are doing in the Pacific. We therefore look forward to sharing our experience and journey in climate and disaster related finance and insurance.