Understanding risk to create resilient platforms for sustainable growth and human dignity.


The IDF is a public/private partnership led by the insurance industry and supported by international organisations. The IDF was first announced at the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21) Paris Climate summit in 2015 and was officially launched by leaders of the United Nations, the World Bank and the insurance industry in 2016.

The IDF aims to optimise and extend the use of insurance and its related risk management capabilities to build greater resilience and protection for people, communities, businesses, and public institutions that are vulnerable to disasters and their associated economic shocks.

  • The global resilience challenge – Economic and humanitarian risks associated with catastrophic weather and climate-related hazards are increasing, representing a major challenge to global resilience, particularly in middle/low-income countries. This challenge was highlighted by the recent adoption of global agreements (Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030; Sustainable Development Goals 2030; and the COP21 Paris Agreement) which form the UN Agenda 2030.
  • The protection gap – Presently, 70% of economic losses from natural hazards remain uninsured and in middle/low-income countries the uninsured proportion of economic losses often exceeds 90%. The initial focus of the IDF partnership is to help close this protection gap – thus building global resilience and protecting economies.
  • The role of insurance – Growing evidence indicates that countries with greater penetration of insurance coverage have faster economic recoveries from disasters and rebuild with greater resilience to future disasters. Research has shown that a 1% increase in insurance penetration can reduce the disaster recovery burden on taxpayers by 22%. A key goal of the UN Agenda 2030 is to take a risk-based approach to manage the risks of extreme events and climate. Within the frameworks that form the UN Agenda 2030, insurance is explicitly recognised as a key vehicle to enable the risk sharing and transfer solutions required for greater global resilience.
  • The need for greater coordination and collaboration – Efforts to improve global resilience and address the protection gap have to date been primarily driven by a handful of private/public stakeholders. Given the scale, scope and complexity of the resilience and protection gap challenge, a coordinated and collaborative approach bringing together the insurance industry and relevant stakeholders is recognised as critical to meeting the goals of the UN Agenda 2030.

The IDF’s governance structure has been designed to ensure efficiency in communication, coordination and collaboration among all stakeholders. The IDF is driven by a Steering Committee and supported by an Implementation Group.

  • Steering Committee of industry leaders, UN agency leaders, international institutions and others to establish priorities and mobilise resources. Chaired by Stephen Catlin, XL Catlin and incoming Chair of the International Insurance Society (IIS) and co-chaired by the Helen Clark, UN Development Program (UNDP) Administrator and Joaquim Levy, World Bank Group, Chief Financial Officer.
  • Implementation Group reporting to the Steering Committee and responsible for recommending responses, overseeing the IDF Working Groups and driving delivery of agreed targets and objectives. Chaired by Rowan Douglas, Willis Towers Watson and co-chaired by Quentin Coolen, UNDP and Samuel Munzele Maimbo, World Bank Group.