JIS News

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  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says the Government is looking to introduce micro-insurance as part of overall policy safeguards against risks associated with climate and weather-related events.
  • The Minister was speaking at the opening of the European Investment Bank (EIB) 2020 Caribbean Roadshow two-day symposium, at the AC Marriot Hotel in Kingston on February 12.
  • Dr. Clarke said the policy initiative, which he anticipates “will find fruit in legislation”, aims to broaden and deepen the penetration of peril risk insurance among homeowners and business operators.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says the Government is looking to introduce micro-insurance as part of overall policy safeguards against risks associated with climate and weather-related events.

The Minister was speaking at the opening of the European Investment Bank (EIB) 2020 Caribbean Roadshow two-day symposium, at the AC Marriot Hotel in Kingston on February 12.

Dr. Clarke said the policy initiative, which he anticipates “will find fruit in legislation”, aims to broaden and deepen the penetration of peril risk insurance among homeowners and business operators.

He pointed out that the proposed legislation is intended to make insurance “a more attractive [and] more accessible product for those [persons] on small incomes and for small and microenterprise businesses”.

Dr. Clarke said the legislation is being pursued against the background of recent data indicating that peril risk insurance penetration across Jamaica totals approximately 20 per cent, which he described as being “quite low”.

“That ought to get our attention, because what it means, ultimately, is that households and businesses… many of them small and medium-sized… are exposed to the risk of climatic events without the commensurate insurance that would kick in to provide remedy and compensation,” he explained.

The Minister said this means that “the State is exposed by virtue of the exposure in the private sector,” hence the Administration’s pursuit of the legislation.

Dr. Clarke said its introduction will form part of the Administration’s overall policy targeting preparatory measures for natural disasters and the associated risks.

“That policy will consider Jamaica’s exposure in both the private and public sectors and what we, as a country, need to embrace in order for those exposures to be closed. We are working hard to ensure that we pursue the adaptation that is required,” he indicated.

The forum is being held from February 12 to 13 under the theme ‘Climate Finance: Challenges and Opportunities for the Caribbean Financial Sector’.

The conference, and by extension the roadshow, is intended to foster knowledge transfer around trends and innovations affecting the financial industry, facilitate the exchange of strategic experiences, and encourage collaboration amongst regional stakeholders, experts and EIB representatives.

Events are being co-hosted by the EIB, and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany.