Regional Regulators to Make Insurance Work for the Poor

June 7, 2012

Regulation plays a critical role in creating an enabling environment for financial service providers whilst ensuring the interest of clients are protected and more so for new innovative financial products like microinsurance. Microinsurance is low cost insurance products designed for low income and rural dwellers.

In recognizing the importance of effective regulation and supervision to develop sustainable microinsurance markets in the Pacific, the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) have facilitated a three day workshop for insurance regulators across the Pacific to network with regional peers and discuss the key challenges they face in the regulation of insurance in their own island nations. 

In addressing the regional insurance regulators when opening the workshop yesterday, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Knut Ostby, mentioned, “The sharing of experience and exchange of knowledge amongst the regional insurance regulators will greatly benefit the development of a workable and growing microinsurance market in the Pacific.” Mr. Ostby added, “I’m sure this workshop will provide ample opportunity for you all to analyze and learn from real life scenarios around the globe whilst paying particular attention to the situation in the Pacific.”

The workshop held at Novotel Nadi has been made possible through the Pacific Financial Inclusion Working Group (PIWG) in partnership with PFIP, Access to Insurance Initiative (a2ii), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and is attended by regional insurance regulators from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Fiji, Timor Leste, and Federated States of Micronesia.

An important objective of this workshop is to help strengthen the foundation of supervisory capacity in each of these countries with reference to their knowledge on insurance core principles (ICPs) that were developed by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. The workshop focuses on core principles relating to topics on licensing, intermediaries, and supervision. Based on discussions, all participants will take ownership and commit to achieving specific action items under each core principle.

The Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) is a Pacific-wide programme helping to provide sustainable financial services to low income households. It is a joint project of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and has received additional funding support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the European Union. The programme is based at the UNDP Pacific Centre in Suva Fiji.