Zurich’s Foundation Supports ILO’s Microinsurance Facility

January 29, 2010

Zurich Financial Services announced that its Z Zurich Foundation will support the International Labor Organization’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility with a CHF 3 million [$2.85 million] grant. The Facility promotes the development of “innovative approaches to provide better insurance coverage to more low income people in a cost effective way,” said Zurich.

“Reducing the administrative costs to the lowest possible level helps unlock the value of risk protection to the low-income population,” it continued. “Therefore, one of the major focus areas of microinsurance services is on streamlining and/or eliminating scale and efficiency challenges.”

Zurich identified these challenges as: a) the enrolment and premium collection from persons in remote areas and /or who may not have bank accounts; b) the management of large numbers of small policies and small claims, and c) the integration of multiple actors who work together to provide the insurance service.

“We believe it’s critical to our long-term business success to play our part in delivering sustainable, long-lasting solutions to important and relevant economic, social and environmental challenges. In these difficult times of market recovery, it is important to underpin our commitment to corporate responsibility and actively support the development of better insurance services for the less fortunate”, explained Martin Senn, Zurich’s CEO and Chairman of the Foundation’s Board.

To support the development of innovative approaches to provide better insurance coverage to more low income people in a cost effective way the Facility “will provide innovation grants to organizations involved in microinsurance,” said the bulletin. “The grant applications will be reviewed using the Facility’s existing selection process and the best 5 to 7 projects selected will be closely monitored over a 3 to 4-year period. Results and learnings will be widely disseminated to assure the broadest possible usage of the gained insights.”

The bulletin also described the Z Zurich Foundation’s mission as being dedicated to “equip people with the knowledge and resources to better manage change and risk in their lives and in the world around them.

“On a strategic level it develops long-term partnerships with selected Non-Profit Organizations. The Foundation’s focus is on the interlinked challenges of climate change, water scarcity, food security and economic development, combining Zurich’s global experience and risk management capabilities with the Non-Profit Organizations’ local knowledge and sustainable development expertise. Current partners are UK-based Practical Action, US-based Rainforest Alliance, and the Swiss-based International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).”

For more information about the ILO’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility, go to – http://www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/mifacility.

Further information about Microinsurance and the Z Zurich Foundation is available at: http://www.zurich.com/microinsurance and http://www.zurich.com/zfoundation.

Source: Zurich Financial Services – www.zurich.com

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