Rainfall protection in the Caribbean

Our innovative risk transfer instruments protect a number of Caribbean countries from the impact of tropical cyclones and earthquakes through the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF). We stepped up that protection for eight countries in August 2014, extending insurance cover to extreme rainfall. We developed this innovative product with the CCRIF at the request of several Caribbean governments. It estimates the impact of heavy rain using satellite data so that payouts can be made quickly without time-consuming damage and loss assessments.

The governments protected by the new policy – Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Vincent & the Grenadines – did not have to wait long for payouts. The first payment was made to Anguilla on 27 October 2014 after flooding caused by Hurricane Gonzalo just two weeks earlier. Some of the funds will be used to make the island more resistant to future flooding. The largest payment in 2014 was made to Barbados, which received USD 1.3 million in December, less than three weeks after the heavy rains on 21 and 22 November. The four payments on the new product totalled USD 3.4 million in 2014.