31 August, 2017

An unprecedented global partnership has been forged to promote inclusive and sustainable insurance markets around the world and to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. UN Environment Finance Initiative’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative and the Microinsurance Network join forces to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Microinsurance Network, the multi-stakeholder platform for the world’s microinsurance community of experts and institutions, has joined UN Environment Finance Initiative’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI), the largest collaborative initiative between the United Nations and the insurance industry. The partnership will advance the social and financial inclusion dimension of sustainable insurance with the goal of closing the insurance protection gap— the gap between economic losses from all disaster events and insured losses. According to Swiss Re, this gap in 2016 was USD 121 billion.

“Achieveing sustainable development requires recognising that economic, social and environmental sustainability are interlocking and mutually reinforcing. Therefore, poverty eradication, social equity, good health, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation and mitigation are all part of a unified agenda. In this context, social and financial inclusion has been an integral pillar of the sustainable insurance agenda from the outset,” said Butch Bacani, who leads the PSI at UN Environment.

“We are committed to achieving our vision of a world where people of all income levels—particularly the underserved—are more resilient and less vulnerable to daily and catastrophic risks, “ said Katharine Pulvermacher, Executive Director of the Microinsurance Network. “We believe that access to insurance and better risk management to reduce vulnerability are essential to sustainable development, and the world’s poor will not achieve lasting prosperity without them. We wholeheartedly support the Principles for Sustainable Insurance and are committed to supporting the development and expansion of insurance services that are sustainable as well as socially inclusive.”

Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and insurance CEOs, the PSI serves as a global framework and collaborative initiative for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance challenges—such as climate change, natural disasters, ecosystem degradation, financial exclusion, human rights violations, health risks, and corruption—and to strengthen the industry’s contribution to sustainable development.

The PSI and the Microinsurance Network have identified various areas of collaboration, including knowledge sharing, policy engagement, capacity building, and events. The collaboration will harness the insurance industry’s role in helping communities reduce risk through good risk management practices, in absorbing financial shocks and enabling economic activity through insurance solutions, and in financing the transformation to a sustainable economy through investments. For example, the Microinsurance Network will help shape the inclusive insurance elements of the global initiative of the PSI and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability to create “Insurance Development Goals for Cities” by 2018. This initiative will show how the insurance industry—as risk managers, insurers and investors help build inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities.

The Microinsurance Network will also work with the PSI on the development of inclusive insurance elements of national and city-level sustainable insurance roadmaps, and in the implementation of global policy frameworks such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement on Climate Change,and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Key inclusive insurance initiatives, as well as the global body of insurance regulators and supervisors, have voiced their strong support for the PSI-Microinsurance Network partnership.

For more information, read Butch Bacani’s article on LinkedIn here.


About UN Environment Finance Initiative’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative

Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and insurance CEOs, the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) serve as a global framework for the insurance industry to address environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities—and a global initiative to strengthen the insurance industry’s contribution to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies. The PSI was launched at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and is the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the more than 100 insurance companies worldwide that have adopted the four Principles for Sustainable Insurance. In 2016, UN Environment, UN Environment and and insurance regulators and supervisors launched the Sustainable Insurance Forum for Supervisors, a network of insurance regulators and supervisors working together to strengthen their understanding of and responses to sustainability issues for the insurance business.

About the Microinsurance Network

The Microinsurance Network is the international multi-stakeholder platform for microinsurance experts to work together and focus on key areas for development in the sector. Its mission is to promote the development and delivery of effective risk management tools, including insurance services, for unserved people by encouraging shared learning and facilitating knowledge generation and dissemination.

For more information go to www.microinsurancenetwork.org.