Countries in South East Europe and Caucasus are highly vulnerable to natural disasters, and catastrophe insurance is almost nonexistent. In 2008, the World Bank launched the regional lending program to support the establishment of a regional catastrophe reinsurance company with the aim to contribute to the development of a catastrophe insurance market in Southeast Europe and Caucasus that would provide homeowners and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the opportunity to purchase affordable catastrophe and weather risk insurance coverage.
In 2009, to implement the World Bank program of lending and technical assistance for the development of the regional catastrophe insurance market, the countries of the region created Europa Reinsurance Facility Ltd. (Europa Re) - a special catastrophe and weather risk reinsurance company. Albania, Macedonia and Serbia are the major shareholders of the company.
Europa Re is established and registered in Zug, Switzerland, and was licensed as a reinsurer in December 2013. Europa Re is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA (FINMA), Switzerland, being known for having the most rigorous and far-reaching risk-based insurance supervision regime in the world.
Europa Re retains a dedicated team of insurance and reinsurance professionals to ensure continuous management of operations and the Board of the Company which comprises three independent directors with well-established international track-record in reinsurance and financial services.
Vision and Mission
Their vision is to increase the level of catastrophe and weather risk insurance penetration among households, farmers and SMEs in SEE and beyond, with the view to enhancing their financial resilience to natural disasters caused by climate change and geo-hazards. In addition, they aim to become a partner of choice in catastrophe and weather risk transfer solutions for the governments of Europa Re's target markets, and to design innovative risk transfer solutions, mainly in the form of reinsurance programs, for insurance companies in SEE and beyond.
Their mission is to help enhance the private insurance market for catastrophic perils in the emerging market economies where they operate, by providing reinsurance and supporting technical services to their insurance partners to enable them to expand the sales of catastrophe and weather risk insurance products to the general public and SMEs. They have started by equipping their partners with adequate reinsurance, know-how and insurance technology to enable them to enter or to expand their presence in the catastrophe and weather risk insurance product lines, which include earthquake and flood insurance, and multi-peril agricultural insurance products.