Inside microinsurance, a view from Haiti

Inside microinsurance, a view from Haiti

As an insurance holder, she knows the next big storm won't wipe out all her assets. Photo: Fabiola Coupet/Mercy Corps
As an insurance holder, she knows the next big storm won't wipe out all her assets. Photo: Fabiola Coupet/Mercy Corps

As Tropical Storm Isaac hit Haiti in late August, all eyes were watching to see whether the country would be overwhelmed by the latest storm. Though the winds and rains didn’t cause widespread damage, small business owners felt its impact acutely, especially when profits must provide for the needs of an entire family. Many women, some of whom earn only a few dollars a day selling small goods, have no safety net to bounce back from the devastation of losing inventory or suffering damage to a home.

Through MiCRO, a reinsurance company formed in March 2011 by Mercy Corps and Fonkoze with SwissRe, these female microentrepreneurs will receive an insurance payout triggered by Isaac’s high winds and heavy rains to replace goods and repair damaged businesses.

James Kurz, Mercy Corps senior technical advisor and former senior financial analyst at Fonkoze, talks about the value of microinsurance in disaster-prone regions. Read the full Q&A.

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