The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC) management team recently visited the Cook Islands for the first time to hold a series of high-level meetings with relevant authorities including the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mark Brown.
Meetings involved the Ministry of Finance & Economic Management (MFEM) and the Cook Islands Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). The mission team included chief executive Aholotu Palu, finance and planning manager Pankaj Singh, insurance and account manager David Ntow and monitoring and evaluation specialist Monica Wabuke.
One notable appointment was that of Financial Secretary Garth Henderson, “a zealous supporter of PCRIC’s crucial positioning for both short and long-term Pacific Islands resilience”, the organisation said in a statement.
Issues discussed included approaches to ensure that PCRIC’s base operating costs are maintained at manageable levels. The session also looked at the company’s current products and services, as well as its new drought and excess rainfall products, potential future premium subsidisation for PCRIC’s sovereign parametric insurance products, and maintaining a firm grasp on the Cook Islands’ disaster risk finance technical assistance and capacity building requirements.
To conduct their annual meeting regarding their onsite prudential compliance performance assessment, the mission team, along with PCRIC’s resident director, Tine Ponia, met with the FSC. Dialogue topics mostly concerned administrative and institutional issues surrounding the future of the company’s country of operations.
Other matters of conversation included PCRIC’s Strategy and Business Plan, key changes within the past year and a forecast outlook for 2023, governance and risk management, business continuity and disaster recovery efforts.
The highlight of the mission was a meeting with Prime Minister Mark Brown where members engaged on critical PCRIC agendas. These included the status of the closure of the World Bank-funded PCRAFI (Assessment and Financing Initiative) project, as well as the company’s financial outlook and plans to manage short-term overhead costs without World Bank grant support in the new year.
Also in the spotlight were premium financing, institutional strengthening, ongoing product diversification and development, and stakeholder engagement initiatives that PCRIC is pursuing. The mission also included a discussion of the completion report required by the World Bank for the PCRAFI project.
A point highlighted by the PCRIC team was that stakeholder engagement is critical to maintaining political momentum and continual enhancements to the visibility of the company.
Prime Minister Mark Brown acknowledged the positive progress PCRIC had so far achieved.