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Asia: APEC proposes pooling for disaster insurance

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Jun 2015

Mr Richard Poulter, a specialist on disaster risk financing and insurance from the World Bank, suggested that the 21 member-economies of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies may pool their disaster risks and then tap insurance collectively from an international insurance provider.
   At the APEC seminar held in late April in the Philippines, he said that accessing insurance against disasters may be expensive for a single economy, but the cost can be significantly reduced with economies of scale. He cited the model that the Philippines is pursuing for some of its provinces, adding this may be applied on a regional scale.
   In particular, the Philippines has secured the assistance of the World Bank in developing an insurance framework wherein disaster-prone provinces will pool risks and then have these risks insured collectively. In case a province is hit by disaster, it can file claims from the insurance facility.
   Regional insurance is one of the proposals for disaster resiliency that APEC member-economies may consider discussing in detail in succeeding meetings.
   Other proposals raised were the establishment of a catalogue showing risk exposures of member-countries, creation of a platform showing data on insurance coverage of public assets, and engagement of the private sector in disaster risk financing.
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