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The Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) Task Force is focused on promoting DRR as a complement to protection gap solutions, integrating DRR into Insurance Development Forum programmes, and emphasising the role of insurance in DRR.

Co-Chairs Saoirse Jones, Executive Director and Head of Insurance Development Forum Engagement, Zurich Insurance Group; Shaun Tarbuck, CEO, International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF); and Mathieu Verougstraete, Resilient Infrastructure and Finance for Resilience Lead, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), provide an update on the Working Group’s efforts to emphasise the role of insurance in DRR. 


The insurance industry plays a crucial role in enhancing disaster risk management and reducing vulnerability to disasters by encouraging proactive measures in disaster risk reduction and risk prevention. 

This update follows the 15th Official Meeting of the Insurance Development Forum Steering Committee held on Wednesday 27th September 2023, and summarises the DRR Task Forces’ ongoing activities under the key pillars of implementation, engagement and advocacy. 


The overarching purpose of the DRR Task Force is to demonstrate how the insurance industry can play an active role in preventing disasters from happening and reducing their impact when they do. Our objectives include promoting DRR as a complement to protection gap solutions to increase resilience of vulnerable communities, integrating a DRR lens into Insurance Development Forum programmes, and emphasising the role of insurance in disaster risk reduction. 

We aim to enable a shift within the industry from a sole focus from risk transfer products and services as a means to protect the insured, to include prevention through DRR incentives, awareness, capacity and financing. We aim to measure success through increased awareness and tangible integration of DRR mechanisms into Insurance Development Forum programmes and projects.

In order to achieve this we are progressing on three areas of focus, which are: 

Capitalising on Synergies & Integration: Working Group engagement:

  • We are engaged with Sovereign and Humanitarian Solutions (SHS) co-chairs and the InsuResilience Solutions Fund (ISF) to understand how to include DRR awareness in concept note development. 
  • We are working to identify countries where disaster risk reduction mechanisms can be embedded into the country projects, adapting as needed to be more relevant at macro level.
  • We are working with the Global Resilience Index Initiative (GRII) to develop case studies for resilience investment analysis.
  • For 2023 and 2024, we will continue our engagement with the Insurance Development Forum Infrastructure Task Force to incorporate disaster resilience and risk reduction into infrastructure project criteria.
  • We are engaging with humanitarian and development agencies to understand how to integrate DRR into crisis financing proposals.
  • Successfully completed Phase 1 of IDF’s Anticipatory Action and Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative, strengthening geospatial data capabilities in seven climate-vulnerable countries.
  • Worked with MapAction to further develop a proposal to significantly scale up the initiative with Start Network and further humanitarian partners, leveraging German Foreign Office funding and enabling wider reach and impact.

Awareness, Education and Communication:

  • Developed awareness sessions with ISF Project Coordination Unit (PCU), SHS working group and other Insurance Development Forum partners to outline how the industry can contribute to disaster risk reduction.

Standard Setting and Measurement:

  • Building on work performed by UNDRR with the cooperative and mutual insurance sector (ICMIF) to develop a DRR mechanism framework and benchmarking process, in 2023 the Insurance Development Forum DRR task force established the “Insurance Development Forum member DRR Mechanism Benchmarking” initiative to extend the ICMIF/UNDRR framework for DRR mechanisms across Insurance Development Forum members. 
  • This DRR framework for insurance companies outlines seven mechanisms an insurance company has at its disposal to foster risk reduction and risk prevention thinking. A few industry members have already committed to engaging in the benchmarking to measure to what extent the DRR mechanisms are integrated into business practices.


To advocate the role insurance plays in driving resilience, during the 2023 Insurance Development Forum Summit we took part in a panel discussion, where we shared examples of how insurance can support financial resilience, inform better investments in risk reduction, and even help with the net zero transition. These conversations helped emphasise the importance of disaster risk prevention, reduction, and adaptation – three clear messages from the summit.

Following the appointment of the Insurance Development Forum as one of the theme leads for the COP28 Resilience Hub on Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian Action, the DRR Task Force has also helped shape the agenda for the disaster risk management sessions, which will focus on non-state actors including the insurance industry.

Going forward, we are focused on reviewing the concept notes of two countries for DRR integration, continuing the benchmarking initiative for member DRR mechanisms, and building on the momentum at COP28 to further advocate for DRR as a means to increase resilience.

We would like to thank everyone involved in the Insurance Development Forum DRR Task Force for your time, commitment and dedication in helping shift the dialogue on climate resilience and adaptation to include a focus on risk prevention and mitigation, so that we can reduce vulnerability and protect the insured. Together, we will strive to create a more resilient and prepared world for all.

Find out more and get involved. 


8th January, 2024