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Insuring the climate in the Caribbean

May 15, 2018

Extreme weather events linked to climate change can cause major damage — destroying homes and livelihoods. Caribbean islanders have seen some of the worst effects. Could climate insurance help?

Fisherman on a beach St. Lucia
Image: DW/Michael Altenhenne

Saint Lucia: Insuring against bad weather

Project aim: Protecting low-income inhabitants of the Caribbean region by providing insurance against extreme weather events.
Project area: Households across the countries of Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.
Project timeframe: 2011-2019
Project partners: Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and various insurers and climate change organizations in partner countries.

Tropical storms and floods can cause billions of euros worth of damage. Often a country's poorest inhabitants are hit hardest. People living on the Caribbean Island of St Lucia know well the consequences of extreme weather. Many have had their houses, harvests and livelihoods destroyed by hurricanes. 

Some insurers and governments are offering "micro insurance" products that could help those on a low-income to get back on their feet after a disaster. But many are sceptical of the promises made by insurance firms. A pilot project on a number of Caribbean Islands wants to show locals how it could work. 

A film by Michael Altenhenne


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