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Nepal Insurance Board and German development program collaborate for microinsurance

The Insurance Board of Nepal (Beema Samiti) has formalized a partnership with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) to improve the country’s insurance market.

The Board signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the GIZ Regulatory Framework Promotion of Pro-poor Insurance Markets in Asia (RFPI Asia) program to promote microinsurance.

“Microinsurance is still in the early stages in the country. We need to promote its development as part of our national poverty alleviation strategy,” the Board’s Chairman Fatta Bahadur K.C. stated.

The partners will develop the appropriate regulations to bridge the gaps among public and private institutions involved in the delivery of insurance products and services.

“We have witnessed the passion and commitment of the Insurance Board and the private sector to promote pro-poor insurance in Nepal. GIZ RFPI Asia is similarly committed to providing the technical assistance needed to achieve our common goal,” expressed Program Director Dr. Antonis Malagardis.

GIZ RFPI Asia is a regional program funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and aims to enhance the insurance regulation and supervision environment in selected Asian countries to improve the protection the low-income from financial risks.

“Our support to the Insurance Board will be compliant with international standards set by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and supported by the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii). These standards will guide the capacity development of IB supervisors to better apply insurance core principles in their microinsurance promotion,” added Dr. Malagardis.

Prior to the MOA signing, the partners hosted an inception workshop to introduce the program, issues and foreseen priority action areas to representatives of government agencies. A stakeholders’ dialogue was also conducted with representatives of insurance companies, cooperatives, microfinance institutions and development organizations.

To lay the foundation of the microinsurance market, the Board has developed the 2013 Microinsurance Regulation currently awaiting review by the Ministry of Finance. It proposes the mandate of all insurance companies to engage in microinsurance.

Pending the approval of the regulation, the Board and GIZ RFPI Asia will focus on formulating directives that will spur microinsurance product development and distribution, on building capacities of personnel and on increasing awareness of insurance.

The partnership will also facilitate dialogues among multiple stakeholders, promoting the coordination of government agencies and of financial service institutions that can jointly contribute to microinsurance market growth.