Latin America & the Caribbean

Agriculture Insurance Conference - How can we make it work to contribute to food security?
The Conference will focus on how agricultural insurance and food security are linked and how this link is relevant for future development efforts. It will sharpen the understanding under what circumstances and how agricultural insurance can best contribute to food security and provides a platform to share experiences. The Conference welcomes food security and agricultural insurance experts, development organizations, insurance policy makers and regulators, academia and representatives from the private sector. View AIC 2014 panelist interviews here.
10th International Microinsurance Conference 2014
From 11 to 13 November 2014, the 10th International Microinsurance Conference will take place in Mexico City. Around 500 participants and experts from around the world will exchange views and discuss the challenges of microinsurance. The participants will include representatives of insurance and reinsurance companies, international organisations, NGOs and development-aid agencies as well as academics, policymakers, and supervisory regulators.
Haiti launches micro-finance catastrophe insurance program
* World Bank announces $1.7 million funding for program * Designed to insure against hurricanes like Sandy in 2012 By Susana Ferreira PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan 29 (Reuters) - When Hurricane Sandy struck Haiti late last year, the home Guerda Pierre shares with her three children and mother in Cabaret, north of Port-au-Prince, was flooded - and so was the merchandise she sold to make a living. "The books, the food, everything was wet after Sandy," said Pierre. The plantain plants and beans in her garden were also destroyed. But unlike the majority of Haitians, Pierre had an insurance policy.
G20 Mexico 2012: Agriculture Vice Ministers / Deputies Meeting REPORT
Under Mexico’s G20 Presidency, Vice Ministers/Deputies of Agriculture from the countries of the G20, and invited countries1 (the “G20 Agriculture Group”) met in Mexico City with the aim of articulating goals, focusing efforts and establishing sound commitments to address food security challenges under a global perspective.
Index Insurance for Developing Countries
Unlike conventional insurance, which indemnifies policyholders for verifiable production losses arising from multiple perils, index insurance indemnifies policyholders based on the observed value of a specified “index” or some other closely related variable that is highly correlated with losses. Index insurance exhibits lower transaction costs than conventional insurance, potentially making it more affordable to the poor in the developing world. However, it also offers less effective individual risk protection. This article provides a review of recent theoretical and empirical research on index insurance for developing countries and summarizes lessons learned from index insurance projects implemented in the developing world since 2000
GIIF worked with MiCRO through capacity building as well as subsidizing microinsurance premiums paid by participating MFI clients in order to support the expansion of an index-based catastrophe micro-insurance product that was the first index insurance project funded by GIIF in the Caribbean. MiCRO is a reinsurance provider based in Barbados. MiCRO currently provides natural catastrophe and weather index insurance to microfinance institutions (MFIs), which in turn insure low-income micro-enterprises.

52% of the population in Haiti lives in rural areas. However, Haitian agriculture historically remained unprofitable and financial credit to agriculture represents less than 1% of the total loan portfolio of banks. As a consequence, 60% of the food consumed in Haiti is imported. Agricultural production is severely affected by natural catastrophes such as excessive rain, hurricane strength winds, and droughts.

Jamaica faces a variety of natural hazards and, on a combined-hazard basis, is among the most vulnerable countries in the world. It lies in the center of the Atlantic hurricane belt, on a complex area of the northern Caribbean Plate margin, and is subject to tropical rainfall and resulting erosion. Agriculture in Jamaica is vulnerable to various risks from extreme winds, to extreme rain, to droughts. A large part of the agricultural sector, including integrated supply chains as well as small farmers, is absorbing these climate risks, with neither publicly nor privately risk transfer mechanisms

The recent path of Tropical Storm Isaac in September 2012 caused the destruction of plantain fields in the southern region. This situation forced the national authorities to provide in kind assistance (i.e. planting materials, fertilizers, cleaning labor, land preparation) to the most affected farmers. Although some insurers provide agriculture insurance, the Ministry of Agriculture does not have a pre-defined budget to tackle the negative effects caused by events in the agricultural sector while it faces significant contingent liabilities.

Argentina’s agriculture sector is very vulnerable to weather risks. For instance, cotton in the Chaco Province - the most important cotton producing area in Argentina and the third poorest province - is very exposed to drought, excess rainfall and pests. Similarly, cattle-rearing in southwest Buenos Aires Province is very exposed to droughts which impact severely on pasture production.