13 Jul 2010

Benefits of micro-insurance to be promoted in Pacific countries

1:56 pm on 13 July 2010

Advocates for micro-insurance say there is potential to develop the provision of insurance to low-income households in Pacific Island nations.

The United Nations Development Programme Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme is to hold discussions on the topic in Fiji on Thursday.

A technical specialist with the Financial Inclusion Programme, partly funded by the UN, Mike McCafferey says, for example, only 20 percent of those on low salaries in Fiji have insurance.

He says there's a need for more education on the merits of insurance and for cheaper premiums to be offered.

"Especially in the Pacific there are a lot of unpredictable events. These range from everything from flooding, to tsunamis, to health concerns out in rural areas. These cause different fluctuations in people's incomes and expenditures over a year. One of the best ways to mitigate those fluctuations is through an insurance policy."

Mike McCafferey says a pilot micro-insurance product is currently being designed for Fiji.