Global Index Insurance Facility
An innovative program which is part of the World Bank Group's Finance & Markets Global Practice
Insurance is important for development because uninsured losses lock vulnerable populations in a vicious cycle of destitution. Unfortunately agricultural insurance and disaster insurance are either unavailable or prohibitively expensive in many developing countries.
The Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF) is a multi-donor trust fund supporting the development and growth of local markets for weather and disaster index-based insurance in developing countries, primarily Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia Pacific. GIIF’s implementing partners have covered more than 600,000 farmers, pastoralists and micro-entrepreneurs to date with $119 million in sums insured and reached over one million with information and access to index insurance. GIIF's objective is to expand the use of index insurance as a risk management tool in agriculture, food security and disaster risk reduction.
Index insurance is a relatively new but innovative approach to insurance provision that pays out benefits on the basis of a pre-determined index (e.g. rainfall level, seismic activity, livestock mortality rates) for loss of assets and investments, primarily working capital, resulting from weather and catastrophic events, without requiring the traditional services of insurance claims assessors.
It also allows for the claims settlement process to be quicker and more objective. See FAQ Index Insurance for more information.
The GIIF trust fund supports four pillars to build nascent index insurance markets:
- Awareness Raising: media promotion and public education campaigns for insurers, distributors, and farmers - substantial part of the pilot start-up costs as index insurance markets are new and not well understood;
- Capacity Building: grants to implementing partners to support training for local insurers and financial institutions on the design of index insurance policies and claims process; feasibility studies; support to strengthen legal, regulatory and supervisory systems related to index insurance at both national and regional levels; and other advisory activities to both private and public stakeholders;
- Financial/Fiscal Support to Lower the Cost of Agriculture Insurance (including Premium Support): Given the nascent agriculture insurance market across many developing countries, premium subsidies are one of the solutions that governments can use to support demand for agriculture. It is essential to employ the correct mechanism during each stage of the development of the insurance market, creating the right incentives that increase demand for insurance while at the same time address market failures.
Most implementing partners have little or no reinsurance and actuarial modeling experience. They have little or no experience developing insurance and reinsurance policy wordings. Our technical partner (Swiss Re) assists our implementing partners with reviewing their products, pricing the products and developing insurance and reinsurance contract documentation. They also help explain reinsurance technical issues to the regulators. GIIF is also exploring technical partnerships with other specialists such as contract designers and satellite data providers.
For more information on GIIF's technical partners, see Insurers and Reinsurers and On the private sector side, the GIIF IFC Team funds implementing partners comprised of an intermediary “broker/agent” who develops index insurance products with local and regional insurance companies who then sell the products. The index insurance products are often bundled with loans or credit and distributed mostly through portfolio-level aggregators such as agribusinesses, banks and microfinance institutions, and cooperatives.
GIIF's first implementing partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, launched Kilimo Salama, a social enterprise, to market weather, area yield, and livestock index insurance products covering a wide range of crops and dairy cattle. Kilimo Salama is now insuring 185,000 farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania, with plans to expand into East Africa.
On the public sector side, the GIIF WB Team works closely with governments at the regional and national level on policy issues to create an enabling legal and regulatory environment for index insurance. The GIIF WB Team also carries out feasibility studies and index insurance pilots to test the feasibility of index insurance markets.
One of the key achievements of the GIIF Team in this area is the revision of the legal and regulatory framework in the CIMA zone, enabling the sale of index insurance in 14 francophone countries in West Africa.
- Weather index insurance for agriculture: guidance for development practitioners (World Bank, 2011)
- IFC MicroEnsure video
- Syngenta farmer microinsurance video
- FinNet 2013 Natural Disasters and SMEs
- FinNet 2013 AgFinance-Insurance PG
- Gilles Jacques Galludec| GIIF Program Manager |GGalludec@ifc.org
- Fatou Assah|GIIF IBRD Program Coordinator|FAssah@worldbank.org
- Selin Konrat | Associate Operations Officer | SKonrat@ifc.org
- Shadreck Mapfumo | Senior Financial Specialist | SMapfumo@ifc.org