Haitian insurer first to get IDB private sector loan
IDB provides unprecedented support for leading Haitian insurer.
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Thursday, April 12, 2012 - Alternative Insurance Company (AIC) has become the recipient of the first Inter-American Development Bank non-sovereign guaranteed operation approved for a Haitian corporate borrower.
The IDB has approved a US$2 million subordinated loan to the leading locally based insurer through financing, arranged by the IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative (OMJ). This loan will catalyze resources for the Haitian-owned AIC to carry out a visionary strategic growth plan that will expand its services to low-income clients.
“The IDB has decided to support AIC because of its central role in building a viable insurance sector in Haiti and in extending insurance products to the most vulnerable sectors of the population,” said OMJ project team leader Rahul Desai.
Haiti’s insurance industry suffered devastating losses due to the 2010 earthquake. AIC, however, honored all of its claims. That effort solidified the company’s reputation and prompted stronger demand for its traditional products, which include auto, property, commercial, health and life insurance.
AIC is also a leader in micro-insurance, offering credit life coverage to microfinance borrowers and an innovative funeral insurance product, Protecta, which allows members of the Haitian Diaspora to assist their families back home.
Recognized in 2009 with the Pioneers of Prosperity Award, a prize for outstanding small and medium-size companies operating in challenging markets, AIC is developing several micro-insurance products for lower income households, such as accident insurance to cover hospital costs and savings instruments linked to life insurance.
“We are very proud to be IDB’s first private sector partner in Haiti,” said AIC CEO Olivier Barrau. “For 10 years, we have offered Haitians a hand to protect their wellbeing, providing them tools to mitigate risks and live with a safety net. This support will allow us to continue on the path of success we followed during our first decade and to increase the positive impact on our stakeholders.”
The IDB is supporting private sector development in several ways in Haiti, such as expanding financial services for businesses and households. Insurance, for example, has great growth potential. Total premiums represent about 0.5 percent of Haiti’s GDP, about one-third of the average penetration in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Strengthening companies like AIC complements the hard work the Haitian government is doing to improve the business climate and reduce some of the regulatory obstacles associated with lending and investment in the country,” said Eduardo Marques Almeida, the IDB’s representative in Haiti.