Background facts Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF)

When the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (External link) (CCRIF) was founded in 2007, it was the first regional insurance pool of its kind. In 2015, the Facility was expanded. It now also covers the countries of Central America. Guatemala, Panama and Nicaragua have since joined.

CCRIF offers coverage against hurricanes, earthquakes and heavy rains. Its assistance goes beyond the payment of insurance benefits. Countries also receive technical assistance with regard to reconstruction. CCRIF makes contributions to the construction of flood walls and critical infrastructure and to the establishment of early warning systems. Care is taken to ensure that climate and disaster risks arising from future events will be reduced.

From the establishment of CCRIF up to September 2020, a total of 163 million US dollars has been paid out to 14 of its 22 member states. Payments are effected within two weeks of the triggering event. For instance, the Government of the Bahamas immediately received a payment of 12.8 million US dollars when Hurricane Dorian devastated two of the 16 main islands on 1 September 2019. In September 2020, CCRIF paid out 7.4 million US dollars to Haiti after Hurricane Laura. The largest single payment so far was 20.4 million US dollars, which went to the Government of Haiti in 2016 following Hurricane Matthew. Since 2015, Germany has provided 12.5 million US dollars in support of this risk pool.

The latest CCRIF insurance product is the Caribbean Oceans and Aquaculture Sustainability Facility (COAST). In cooperation with the World Bank, CCRIF developed and implemented a parametric climate risk insurance scheme for the fisheries sector. It comprises a livelihood protection component (direct insurance) and a tropical cyclone component (government-based indirect insurance). For 2019/20, this instrument has been implemented in two pilot countries, Grenada and Saint Lucia, through their respective governments. The Caribbean is the first region in the world to have introduced this kind of risk financing instrument. CCRIF is planning to launch a new drought insurance during the 2020/21 business year.