In Southeastern and Central Europe, natural catastrophes such as floods and earthquakes wreak severe consequences on lives, property, and national economies. Currently, the commercial insurance market does not offer affordable and dependable insurance coverage to protect individuals and small businesses against material loss arising from natural catastrophes. Yet, insurance can play an important role in reducing the level of economic and fiscal exposure to natural disasters in SECE countries.
In this context, the World Bank, UNISDR and the Regional Cooperation Council have been facilitating the creation of the Southeastern and Central Europe Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (SECE-CRIF). The proposed facility will be established as a regional catastrophe risk pool owned by countries and managed by the private sector. It has received strong endorsement from the EU as well as financial support from the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and the government of Switzerland. The facility would greatly contribute to the development of a catastrophe insurance market in Southeastern and Central Europe and could reduce government post-disaster budgetary outlays on reconstruction. Regional risk diversification and extensive donor assistance would promote a growing private market for catastrophe insurance, which would in turn provide homeowners and SMEs with the opportunity to purchase affordable insurance coverage.
As the next step in the process of launching the facility, the World Bank, UNISDR and the Regional Cooperation Council hosted a Regional Conference on the SECE-CRIF at the Hotel Continental in Zurich (Switzerland).
The event gathered senior government officials from Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Natural Disasters, as well as from national Insurance Regulatory Commissions.
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