An insurance program aimed at aiding the smallest entrepreneurs in Haiti will make a significant payout to policyholders in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaac, insurers say.
The reinsurance company Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organisation (MiCRO) says it will make a payout to Haiti’s largest microfinance institution, Fonkoze, following the storm.
The institution will pay a fixed sum of around Haitian Gourdes 5,000 (U.S. $125) to each of hundreds of female micro-entrepreneurs who lost their homes or inventories due to the storm.
The total amount of the payout, to be determined by a combination of weather-related triggers and actual losses on the ground, will be finalized in the next few weeks.
“This week’s events have once again demonstrated that MiCRO can bring the benefits of the global insurance market to the poorest of the world’s poor,” says Milo Pearson, chairman of MiCRO. “Bringing this insurance product to the people of Haiti means that small business owners can accumulate assets and protect themselves against losing everything in a natural disaster.”
MiCRO enables Fonkoze to provide its members, primarily women who earn less than $2 a day, with a catastrophe-recovery product known as Kore W, which provides payouts to hundreds of policyholders. The Kore W program also allows these small businesswomen to cancel their outstanding loan balance and, when they are ready, take out a new loan to capitalize their businesses, further accelerating recovery.
In the company’s first year, MiCRO provided $1.64 million in payouts that Fonkoze has used to provide funds to nearly 6,800 Haitian women.
MiCRO is a reinsurance company formed in 2011 by Fonkoze with the aid of Mercy Corps and support of the U.K.’s Department for International Development and global reinsurer Swiss Re.