THE IDB GRANTED A LOAN OF $2 MILLION, TO A HAITIAN CORPORATE BORROWER
(Haiti Libre) -
The Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) announced Tuesday, the approval of a $2 million subordinated loan to Alternative Insurance Company (AIC), the leading locally based insurer in Haiti. This is the first IDB non-sovereign guaranteed operation approved for a Haitian corporate borrower.
The financing, arranged by the IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative (OMJ), 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.
The Opportunities for the Majority Initiative promotes and finances market-based, sustainable business models that engage companies, local governments and communities in the development and delivery of quality products and services for people at the base of the pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Founded in 2001, Alternative Insurance Company is a Haitian multiline insurance company. It offers a variety of insurance products targeted to meet the needs of all Haitians. AIC’s business lines include auto, commercial, homeowners, life, group health, funeral and micro-insurance products, which are supported by a strong distribution network. For over one decade, AIC has built a reputation for excellence in governance and responsiveness to its clients.