15 januari 2005
Interpolis covers life-insurances in tsunami-hit regions
Toon Bullens, at Interpolis responsible for Cooperative Insurance and Innovation, told P+: "We also pledged 125 thousand euro for reconstruction, which I hope will start in February. Our contacts in India and Sri Lanka will make an assessment of the needs. I presume we will invest in preventive measures like facilitating research on flood-proof housing. We have no expertise in building schools or hospitals, but we do have expertise in risk prevention."
Interpolis, having its own roots in mutual solidarity funds, has been working together with the Rabobank Foundation on a combined financing and reinsurance model that has been implemented not only in Sri Lanka and India, but also in the Philippines and Nepal. Especially the reinsurance facility is vital for small mutual insurance companies in poor areas. Although they work towards self-reliability within a few years time, they will never be able to cope with large-scale calamities.
About a year ago the Micro Insurance Association Netherlands (MIAN) has been established by several Dutch co-operative insurers (see P+ Webtip in Dutch). Some hundred employees, eager for opportunities to work on micro-insurance, are volunteering for projects in rural areas in developing countries, where financial institutions are virtually absent or not available for the poor. These volunteers act on request of non-governmental organizations, that are rooted in and trusted by the local communities.
The money donated by Interpolis for reconstruction in Sri Lanka and India will be channelled through MIAN. Toon Bullens: "In that way we do not start from scratch, but we use the existing relationships with local organizations." Bullens foresees a large rise in the amount of volunteers: "There is a lot of enthusiasm amongst the employees."
P+ Webtip: Start of Interpolis/MIAN