Bridgetown, Barbados – October 9th, 2019 – After successfully securing regulatory approval and launching pilot programs in Guatemala and El Salvador, the Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organization (MiCRO) will expand activities to three additional countries in the next two years.

The first expansion country is Colombia where MiCRO, in a joint effort with SBS Seguros Colombia, an insurance company, designed and launched an innovative natural catastrophe insurance product specifically designed to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable and low-income families. The product will be distributed through Bancamía, a bank of the Microfinance Foundation BBVA.

Mi Inversion Protegida (the name of the product) offers small producers and entrepreneurs an all-risk protection against direct losses and a parametric cover that triggers when severe events of excess rain, earthquakes or droughts occur. The parametric component allows SBS Seguros Colombia to make swift payouts and help clients quickly recover from additional costs and burdens of natural catastrophes.

This innovative product gives Bancamia’s clients access to a needed and affordable product that offers comprehensive protection from natural disasters. It does this by applying cutting edge technology that expands the traditional boundaries of insurability. “The product was designed to serve anyone pursuing productive activities and, as such, it offers adequate protection to a very broad public, a critical feature to reach scale”, said Carlos Boelsterli, MiCRO’s CEO. “We are extremely happy to have found in SBS Seguros Colombia an ideal partner to pioneer the introduction of this innovative insurance product to this market”. Bancamía’s product has the potential to reach more than 1 million clients. For the initial phase, the goal is to sell 100,000 policies over 3 years.

Critical to many Latin American economies, the agriculture and small business sectors are exceedingly vulnerable to natural disasters. Climate change is a threat multiplier for many such events, increasing both natural disasters’ intensity and frequency. MiCRO’s approach to mitigating the effects of these disasters is seen as a real alternative to increase the resilience of vulnerable segments of the population.

MiCRO is supported by Mercy Corps, co-founder of MiCRO, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Climate Adaptation Platform managed by KfW, and Swiss Re, whose technical assistance and risk capacity has been instrumental in providing this innovative insurance protection.

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