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Six Asian insurance regulators declare commitment to inclusive insurance

Representatives of six Asian insurance regulatory authorities today adopted a pioneering declaration that recognizes the challenges to providing risk protection to low-income individuals and enjoins the signatories to promote inclusive insurance markets in their respective countries.

The Cebu Declaration on Inclusive Insurance was signed by insurance regulators and supervisors from Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam at the recently concluded Mutual Exchange Forum on Inclusive Insurance (MEFIN), hosted by the Philippine Insurance Commission and organized by GIZ RFPI Asia with support from the Asian Development Bank in Cebu, Philippines.

A non-binding manuscript, the Cebu Declaration on Inclusive Insurance recognizes the importance of inclusive insurance as a tool for poverty reduction and social and economic development and underlines the instrumentality of insurance industry supervision in fostering inclusive insurance markets.

Philippine Insurance Commissioner and MEFIN Keynote Speaker Emmanuel F. Dooc remarked that “the Declaration emphasizes the need to develop an effective policy, regulatory and supervisory environment.”

He added that “while the Philippines has received praise for its regulatory environment for microinsurance, the work ahead is daunting. This Declaration is a display of the Philippine Insurance Commission’s commitment to promoting pro-poor risk protection.”

Signatories jointly declare that the exchange of knowledge and ideas is essential for the formulation of an enabling policy, regulatory and supervisory framework, taking into consideration the unique legal and regulatory environment of countries.

GIZ RFPI Program Director Dr. Antonis Malagardis stated that “the aim of such a platform such as MEFIN is to provide space for insurance regulators and supervisors in Asia to share their unique experiences in promoting inclusive insurance markets and to learn from each other,” stated.

He added that, “thematic approaches such as for agroinsurance, health, pensions and disaster risk management shall feature in the cooperation that GIZ RFPI Asia and the Declaration envision to facilitate for the public and the private sectors.”

Organized through the Regulatory Framework Promotion of Pro-poor Insurance Markets (GIZ RFPI Asia) program, MEFIN was designed to foster peer-to-peer exchange of insurance regulatory and supervisory experiences and lessons and to plot concrete actions plan for which technical cooperation could be formed.

“Asian insurance industry stands at the threshold of a leap into an exciting phase of global exchange, and will serve as a major fulcrum for promoting risk protection to its vast population of low income households and small business by providing access to insurance services”, remarked Arup Chatterjee, Senior Financial Sector Specialist at Asian Development Bank.

“This is also an occasion to commemorate the potential of innovation, inclusion and integration by harnessing ideas and resources for the common good through mutual exchange and cooperation”, he added.

This display of commitment is aligned with the long-standing efforts in the insurance industry to enhance knowledge exchange and learning among insurance regulators and policymakers. It is envisioned that this symbolic commitment will translate into concrete applications of the Insurance Core Principles espoused by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the global standard-setting body for the industry.

GIZ RFPI Asia is a regional program that seeks to improve regulatory and supervisory preconditions for effective insurance protection of low-income populations in Asia. Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the program will support selected Asian countries to enhance insurance regulatory and supervisory capacities. Additionally, RFPI Asia will facilitate the development of innovative insurance solutions, especially in the areas of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), disaster risk management and agriculture. RFPI Asia is being implemented in close collaboration with the ADB.