Howden acquires microinsurance specialist




Howden acquires microinsurance specialist | Insurance Business America















Parametric insurance provider caters to underserved communities


Insurance News

By
Terry Gangcuangco

International insurance intermediary group Howden has snapped up microinsurance specialist MiCRO, which provides parametric natural disaster insurance to underserved populations in Latin America. The move, according to Howden, underscores its commitment to leveraging insurance as a ‘force for good’, particularly in emerging markets.

Established by Mercy Corps and Fonkoze following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, MiCRO currently operates in Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, and Mexico. As a parametric insurance firm, MiCRO offers rapid financial relief to smallholder farmers and micro-enterprises through payouts based on a disaster’s severity rather than traditional claims assessments.

As of the end of last year, MiCRO had more than 180,000 active policyholders.

Howden said the transaction, financial terms of which were not disclosed, aligns with the group’s goal of empowering vulnerable communities to become more resilient and adapt to climate change threats. At the same time, MiCRO will now have the opportunity to grow by leveraging Howden’s international reach, global markets access, and robust data and analytics capabilities.

Despite Mercy Corps exiting as part of the deal, MiCRO will continue to seek collaborative opportunities with the organisation to support its mission of alleviating suffering, poverty, and oppression, and building secure, productive, and just communities.

“MiCRO has achieved remarkable progress in recent years, and as we embark on further expansion, Howden emerged as a natural growth partner,” MiCRO chief executive Carlos Boelsterli (pictured) highlighted. “I have been extremely impressed with their long-term commitment to the underserved, and they are undoubtedly a business whose actions speak louder than words.

“In the face of the global challenge posed by climate change, it is essential that we empower marginalised communities with access to the correct insurance cover to cope with the volatility of tomorrow.”

Charlie Langdale, chair of climate risk and resilience at Howden, noted: “At Howden, we firmly believe that the insurance market holds significant potential for fostering resilience among underinsured communities, enabling them to adapt to the future climate landscape, and microinsurance is one of the tools to achieve this.

“MiCRO’s proprietary data platform and exceptional expertise, both in parametric insurance and also in creating wider access to insurance, will help us scale this important capability for those most at risk.”

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