August 15, 2013
Insurance supervisors from five pacific island countries and Timor Leste drafted action plans for their respective jurisdiction and identified the key challenges, gaps, and technical assistance requirements across a wide range of topics including inclusive insurance, microinsurance, risk management and on-site supervision.
This was the result of a weeklong Insurance Supervisors Workshop held between August 5th and 9th at the Novotelin Nadi.
Key priority areas for intervention in the future include the development and implementation of a model regulatory framework for inclusive insurance, building capacity on a regional basis on topics like reinsurance and risk based supervision principles and assistance in expanding insurance literacy to clients.
The actions plans and technical assistance needs of regional significance will be presented to the Pacific Island Working Group members in September and they will finalize the key areas for future engagement.
The participants were introduced to the different microinsurance business models, the risks distinctive to each of the model and the regulatory implications. As a result, they could comment on the nature of changes required around products, distribution channels and licensing aspects in their respective countries.
Arup Chatterjee from ADB who was one of the lead facilitators said, ‘it is critical to develop a regulatory system that supervisors can adequately manage and enforce’. In addition, he emphasized that irrespective of the regulatory approach, supervisors should focus on solvency of formal insurance providers.
Jeff Liew, Regional Financial Capacity Advisor for Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme during the closing ceremony, emphasized the need for collaboration across donors for developing an enabling regulatory environment that would empower the formal insurance providers to expand access to insurance products to the large percentage of uninsured population.
The participants benefitted from practical case studies on supervision processes, on-site supervision and microinsurance and learnt how to use a manual for carrying out on-site inspection. In addition, participants had an opportunity to interact with community facilitators and clients of a microinsurance pilot project run in partnership between the Life Insurance Corporation of India and the TISI Sangam community at Solovi in Nadi.
Participants included representatives from the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Central Bank of the Solomon Islands, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, Central Bank of Samoa, Office of the Insurance Commissioner PNG, Banco Central de Timor Leste and the Reserve Bank of Fiji.
The workshop was organized by PFIP in partnership with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), the Pacific Financial Working Group (PIWG) and the Asian Development Bank. The training was facilitated by ADB Senior Financial Sector Specialist Arup Chatterjee and International Regulatory Expert Russell Leith.
The Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) is a joint programme of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with additional funding support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the European Union/Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Microfinance Framework Programme (EU/ACP).