Insurance mutuals look at the co-op approach to disaster risk

ICMIF has teamed up with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction on the report

A new report has been released looking at how the co-operative and mutual insurance sector can help drive prevention and disaster risk reduction.

From protection to prevention: The role of cooperative and mutual insurance in disaster risk reduction, is a joint report from the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).

Based on an analysis of 20 case studies from ICMIF members around the world, the mechanisms provide a practical way for the co-operative and mutual insurance sector to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the global plan to reduce disaster losses adopted by UN member states.

Hilde Vernaillen, chair of ICMIF and chair of the Management Committee, P&V (Belgium) said: “ICMIF’s partnership with UNDRR seeks to freely share the work that our members are doing to prevent risk in a bid to inspire other insurers to follow their example. By reflecting on these 20 case studies, ICMIF and UNDRR have collaborated to synthesise this intelligence and create a best practice framework that any insurer could adopt.

“It is my sincere wish that our ambitions to encourage more widespread risk prevention are realised, for the sake of humanity and this incredible world that we inhabit. As we turn our attentions to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) scheduled to take place later this year in Glasgow (UK), I for one will be asking myself, how as a leader of an insurance company, can I do more to prevent hardship, pain and even death in the communities that I serve.”

Mami Mizutori, special representative of the secretary-general for disaster risk reduction said: “I have been so encouraged to witness the commitment and action of ICMIF members to shift the focus of such a substantive and catalytic industry from protection to prevention.”

She added: “Swiss Re Institute estimates US83bn global insured catastrophe losses in 2020, the fifth costliest on record, combined with a looming global debt crisis which will – as usual – hit the most vulnerable countries, communities and people the hardest. The message could not be clearer: Our understanding of and approach to risk not only needs to be fundamentally re-examined, but the interconnectedness and cascading dimension of risk must inform policies, practices and investments.

“The insurance industry, and particular the cooperative and mutual sector with its focus on resilience, innovation and community engagement, is uniquely placed to inform and lead such work. ICMIF has a long tradition of supporting countries to enhance national and local disaster risk reduction action; its engagement in the negotiations towards the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction led to the inclusion of clear references to the need for private and financial sector and the regulators in driving and implementing disaster risk reduction.”