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Insurance schemes

Kalesi Mele
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

MORE Fijians have been urged to register for insurance plans to help assist them in times of rainy days.

The comment was made by Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Ariff Ali during the official launch of Fiji's first bundled insurance product at the Sugar Cane Growers Council hall in Lautoka on Saturday.

Mr Ali said there was a need to generate more interest from farmers on the importance of registering for insurance schemes and the bundled insurance product would help the idea find traction.

The product he said was largely beneficial for low income earners.

The product has been created primarily for sugarcane farmers and is likely to extend to other agricultural groups.

"We at the Reserve Bank have been working to ensure that those people at the low income end spectrum have insurance schemes," he said.

"Initially when all insurance companies wanted to come on board and be part of the scheme but Cyclone Winston happened and a lot of the focus shifted on helping affected clients.

"One of the biggest challenges of putting this whole project together was logistics and we're grateful FijiCare came on board committing to the initiative.

"We have created this project for you the farmers, you are the ones that will benefit from this."

The launch was held in partnership with the United Nations Pacific Financial Inclusion Program and the Fiji Sugar Cane Growers Council.

PFIP acting program manager Krishnan Narasimhan said the organisation was working with insurance providers across the region to develop affordable and appropriate insurance products for clients in the low-income segment.

"With Pacific Island countries having some of the lowest insurance penetration rates in the world, we are indeed excited about the 12,500 farmers who have received insurance coverage for the first time," he said.

"This is a big step in the financial inclusion push in the region and we acknowledge and are grateful for the persistence and determination of FijiCare Insurance and the Sugarcane Growers Fund in making this possible," he said.

"This micro insurance initiative marks an important step towards expanding sustainable financial inclusion."

'For the farmers, enrolment into the insurance scheme is the beginning of a journey that gives more protection, builds household resilience and that generates tangible value as they use the service to improve their daily financial lives," he said.

The micro insurance product is being marketed to various sectors including the garment, hardware, tourism, retail industries and has targeted at large and medium businesses that have a minimum number of 50 employees or members.

The SCGF is the first group to work with FijiCare on the micro insurance.

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