Microinsurance Future in Jamaica-The FSC s Perspective November 4, 2013

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1 Microinsurance Future in Jamaica-The FSC s Perspective November 4, 2013

2 OUTLINE Mandate of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Rationale for Microinsurance in Jamaica Development of Microinsurance in Jamaica Challenges Opportunities Conclusion 2

3 FSC s Mandate As the regulatory supervisor for the insurance, pensions and securities industries, the FSC s mandate includes the: a) the registration and licensing of products, entities and individuals for each industry. b) ensuring that the legal and regulatory framework is appropriate for effective supervision. c) ensuring that developing trends in respect of international standards and policies are reviewed and adopted where applicable. 3

4 Rationale for introducing Microinsurance in Jamaica 1. In Jamaica, there is a growing need for persons of lower economic status to access insurance protection for the financial sustainability of their families and businesses. 2. Individuals who operate in the agricultural sector are susceptible and vulnerable to disasters caused by catastrophes such as hurricanes and flooding. 3. It can eliminate or reduce the dependency on the Government to provide assistance when a disaster occurs. 4. It allows for the development of an inclusive insurance market offering protection at all levels of the society. 5. Allows for the introduction of new products in a matured sector such as the Jamaican Insurance industry. 4

5 Development of Microinsurance in Jamaica 1. Currently, the insurance regulatory framework does not address the supervision and the monitoring of microinsurance business. 2. We therefore do not have any approved insurance products in Jamaica that could be categorically described as microinsurance products. 3. Within the last three years the FSC received documents and insurance policies for review from one non-life insurance company and one international organisation that is developing parametric insurance for a governmental agency. 5

6 Development of Microinsurance in Jamaica The FSC has granted approval within the current legislative framework, to this company to market a quasi-microinsurance policy in Jamaica. These insurance products are group policies sold to particular financial institutions. These insurance products are as follows: a) The policy covers payment of utility bills if the insured experience a loss which prevents the payment of the insureds bills. b) The policy covers losses caused by weather events such as hurricane c) The policy provides a personal accident coverage for migrant farm workers. Currently the microinsurance product is only accessible by means of a group policy. 6

7 Development of Microinsurance in Jamaica 1. The FSC has reviewed the information on microinsurance business presented by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and the Access to Insurance Initiative ( A2ii ) with the view of adopting these standards for Jamaica. 2. The Government of Jamaica has committed to allow for a diagnostic study to be conducted to facilitate the development of the microinsurance business. 3. Additionally, the Government of Jamaica has initiated action with the assistance of the International American Development Bank ( IADB ) to develop parametric insurance models for the agricultural sector. 7

8 Challenges The challenges now being faced for the implementation of Microinsurance Business in Jamaica: 1. Legislation does not specifically address microinsurance business and will require amendments. 2. Uncertainty regarding the magnitude of amendments required. 3. Increasing the knowledge of all stakeholders on microinsurance industry and the benefits and opportunities that can be derived. 4. The development of expertise and knowledge by the FSC to adequately assess the microinsurance products and supervise the companies offering the products. 5. The development of the appropriate environment to facilitate the thrust by the insurance industry to develop microinsurance business in Jamaica, and allow for effective monitoring by the FSC. 8

9 Opportunities 1. The Government of Jamaica has shown deep interest in the development of parametric microinsurance cover for farmers. Owing to the geographical location of Jamaica and the challenges faced by individuals in the lower income bracket, there are numerous opportunities for the development of this insurance initiatives in this territory. 2. The success of this programme could be a catalyst for other Caribbean territories to enter the market, opening up new markets for Jamaican companies. 9

10 Opportunities Cont d 3. There are opportunities for non-financial service providers to engage in the distribution of microinsurance products, thus creating a new customer base for their products as well. 4. The development of partnerships with insurance companies and cooperatives, church organisations and other large groups to distribute microinsurance products and expand their customer base. 10

11 The Commission s Goals The FSC has partnered with the international organisations such as the IADB and A2ii to address the following: a) The development of the legal and regulatory framework to supervise microinsurance providers effectively. b) The development of the appropriate environment to facilitate insurance initiatives in Jamaica. c) The protection of the interests of the users of microinsurance products. d) The enhancement of financial literacy among consumers. 11

12 Conclusion 1. The FSC anticipates that the microinsurance products will contribute toward financial stability in the economy. Low-income earners, in particular, will be able to access insurance benefits through various distribution channels, and be in a better position to secure the future financially in the event of a disaster or loss of the main or only income earner. 2. The development of microinsurance products may reduce the burden on the Government to finance losses in the event of certain natural disasters, and hence use those resources to finance development on a national level. 3. Jamaicans across varying communities including the deep rural areas of the country, will be empowered, gaining financial knowledge for the protection of their livelihood and possessions. The FSC fully endorses the introduction of this new sector in the Insurance Industry and intends to develop the appropriate regulatory framework, to allow for effective supervision and monitoring of the sector, which satisfies international standards. The FSC anticipates the early development of this venture. 12

13 THANK YOU

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