Climate Week Panel: Building Innovative Index Insurance Markets

First Climate Week Panel To Focus On Building Innovative Index Insurance Markets in Developing Countries

NEW YORK, September 18, 2014 — A panel of leaders and experts from the business, humanitarian and research communities will convene this week at the Climate Week NYC to discuss the growing relevance of index insurance as a tool to manage weather-related risks for farmers across the developing world. The forum is organized by the World Bank Group’s Global Index Insurance facility (GIIF) and the Earth Institute’s International Research Institute for Climate Society (IRI).

Climate change poses serious challenges to the world’s farmers, as well as companies that work in agriculture, water, energy and other sectors. In order for the insurance industry to help meet these new challenges and risks, it must develop new products and services. Weather-based index insurance is an innovative risk management tool that has enabled farmers in both developing, and developed, countries to protect assets, gain access to credit and unlock productive opportunities.

“The shocks of climate change have been felt by small and medium businesses andmost severely by farmers dependent on agriculture for livelihood and financial support. Index insurance offers an opportunity to protect their income and investments against weather adversities while becoming part of a wider strategy to escape poverty,” says Gilles Galludec, Program Manager for GIIF.

While index insurance has already managed to reach millions of smallholder farmers in countries such as India with substantial private and public support, the business model needs to be adjusted to scale up and reach long-term financial viability.

“We know some projects have done well while others have not,” says Dan Osgood, who leads IRI’s Financial Instruments Sector team. “The Climate Risk Forum will provide a unique opportunity to hear experiences on what was done differently for the index insurance projects that worked, and what challenges must be addressed to assure success in the future.”


Building Innovative and Sustainable Index Insurance Markets for Weather-related Risks in Developing Countries

James Room, at Barnard College, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 24th.

Gilles Galludec, Program Manager, Global Index Insurance Facility, World Bank Group
Richard Choularton, Chief of Climate Resilience for Food Security Unit – World Food Programme
Alexandre Scherer, CEO – AXA America Corporate Solutions
Paula Pagniez, Senior Microinsurance Specialist – Swiss Re
Jon Hellin, Poverty Specialist and Senior Scientist, CIMMYT – CGIAR
Daniel Osgood, Lead Scientist – International Research Insitute for Climate and Society

Moderator: Gary Reusche, Senior Program Manager from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation.

For more information about this event and to register:

Follow us on Twitter: #climateriskforum

About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. It consists of five institutions: the World Bank, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Working together in more than 100 countries, these institutions provide financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, please visit,, and

About the Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF)
The Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF) is a multi-donor trust fund established in 2009, managed by IFC, and jointly implemented with the World Bank Group, supporting the development and growth of local markets for indexed/catastrophic insurance in developing countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South Asia. GIIF helps establish index insurance markets through: Support for capacity building, which includes training for local insurers and financial institutions on the design of index insurance policies and claims process; Technical advice on products and pricing through a team of GIIF technical specialists, and Swiss Re (GIIF’s technical partner); An enabling regulatory and policy environment (World Bank Group/IBRD); Premium Support, to help borrowers access insurance on a broader scale and to create commercially attractive markets. More Information:

About the International Research Institute for Climate and Society
The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, aims to enhance society’s ability to understand, anticipate and manage the impacts of climate in order to improve human welfare and the environment, especially in developing countries. Visit and follow @climatesociety on Twitter.