Howden acquires MiCRO to build resilience in underinsured communities


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  • The acquisition of MiCRO reflects Howden’s commitment to invest in positive social change and protect low-income and vulnerable populations against climate related disasters around the world

London, 20 May 2024 – Howden, the international insurance intermediary group, today announces the acquisition of MiCRO, a microinsurance specialist that designs and implements parametric insurance coverage for underserved populations in Latin America against natural catastrophes. This underlines Howden’s strategy to invest in new solutions that use insurance as a ‘force for good’, in particular in emerging insurance markets, where demand is growing due to the increase in volatile weather events. 

The acquisition reflects Howden’s commitment to harness the power of insurance to empower vulnerable populations to become more resilient and adapt to the imminent peril posed by climate change. This acquisition will enable MiCRO to expand the range and reach of its parametric solutions through Howden’s international presence, deep access to global markets, and data and analytics capability. 

MiCRO was founded by Mercy Corps and Fonkoze in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and has since grown to operate in four countries - Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico. Based on a parametric insurance model, its solutions cover financial losses affecting smallholder farmers and micro enterprises. With swift payouts determined by the level of the disaster’s severity rather than a traditional loss adjustment, it helps clients quickly recover from additional costs and burdens of natural catastrophes. MiCRO had over 180,000 active policyholders at the end of 2023, a significant proportion of which are women, and smallholder farmers.

MiCRO will continue to explore collaboration opportunities with Mercy Corps, who have exited as part of the deal, supporting its ambition to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities.

Carlos Boelsterli, Chief Executive Officer, MiCRO said: “MiCRO has achieved remarkable progress in recent years, and as we embark on further expansion, Howden emerged as a natural growth partner. I have been extremely impressed with their long-term commitment to the underserved and they are undoubtedly a business whose actions speak louder than words. In the face of the global challenge posed by climate change, it is essential that we empower marginalised communities with access to the correct insurance cover to cope with the volatility of tomorrow.”

Charlie Langdale, Chair, Climate Risk and Resilience, Howden, added: “At Howden, we firmly believe that the insurance market holds significant potential for fostering resilience among underinsured communities, enabling them to adapt to the future climate landscape, and microinsurance is one of the tools to achieve this. MiCRO’s proprietary data platform and exceptional expertise, both in parametric insurance but also in creating wider access to insurance will help us scale this important capability for those most at risk.”