New climate insurance coming to Samoa

A new scheme designed to allow small businesses across the Pacific to take out insurance against the risk of damage from extreme weather events associated with climate change is coming to Samoa. 

The new insurance plan is designed for small businesses in Pacific nations who are at risk of facing the consequences of extreme climate change related weather-events.

The insurance plan is designed by the Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme (P.I.C.A.P.), which is to be implemented in a phased manner across six Pacific countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

The programme is designed to compensate policy-holders whose houses, crops and equipment are damaged in the event of extreme weather events, such as cyclones as hurricanes, deemed to be related to the world’s changing climate. The focus of the micro-insurance initiative will be small businesses, such as fishermen, farmers and produce vendors. 

The programme is planned to start in two countries, around June next year.

The Financial Inclusion Coordinator of the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme, Iris Kissiti, told Samoa Observer that the two countries are yet to be selected as negotiations are still underway.

The programme is still under design but, on October 4, stakeholders from Samoa, including private and public sector representatives, were involved in one of the many regional workshops to discuss the priorities for the programme’s rpll out. 

 "At the moment we're not sure Samoa would be one of the two starting countries but it's definitely going to be part of the programme,” she said. 

The programme is an initiative by both the United Nations Capital Development Fund and the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative.

Ms. Kissiti said they are hoping to help address the growing impacts of climate change and build resilience through various areas through the programme.

The programme focuses on micro-insurance, specifically working with local communities, and local businesses. 

Ms. Kissiti said P.I.C.A.P. aims to bring parametric insurance and other Disaster Risk financing instruments to assist communities and Governments to be better prepared to face natural hazards, both climate change induced and otherwise. 

The programme will address these issues by equipping Governments and communities with tailored disaster risk financing strategies and solutions that will help them to address the growing impacts of climate change in areas such as:

  • Risk Appraisal and Research   

  •  Policy and Regulation

  • Product development

  •  Consumer Empowerment

The scheme hopes to expand its potential coverage of climate change damage to weather events such as drought in future. 

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