Skip to content

About the institution


The IDF is on a mission 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 role of insurance in the Sustainable Development Goals: Evidence proves that countries with greater penetration of insurance coverage have faster economic recoveries from disasters, and rebuild with greater resilience to future disasters. Research shows that a 1% increase in insurance penetration can reduce the disaster recovery burden on taxpayers by up to 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, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), insurance is explicitly recognised as a key vehicle to enable the risk sharing and transfer solutions required for greater global resilience.


Our vision is to improve global risk understanding to create resilience platforms for sustainable growth and human dignity.

The need for greater coordination and collaboration: Efforts to improve global resilience and address the protection gap have historically 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 all relevant stakeholders, both public and private, is critical to meeting the needs of climate-vulnerable people.


The IDF was conceived and proposed at a meeting of the Political Champions Group for Disaster Resilience (PCG) on the margins of the UN General Assembly in 2013. A Task Force was formed and produced a detailed Concept Note that outlined its need, purpose and potential operation.

The creation of the IDF was approved by the PCG Chairs, Rt Hon Justine Greening, Secretary of State, Department of International Development, UK Government and Helen Clarke, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme and mandated as a final outcome of the PCG in April 2014.

From then, and in preparation for the UN 2015 agreements, there was extensive engagement with UN processes to understand how the insurance sector could support their objectives and to shape the IDF to maximise implementation. This period broadened the understanding of insurance capabilities to support development and humanitarian priorities and widened awareness across the industry itself.

  • Meeting of the Political Champions Group for Disaster Resilience (PCG) convenes on the margins of UN General Assembly.
  • Rowan Douglas (Willis Towers Watson) proposes a dedicated public-private initiative with the insurance sector, and is appointed to lead PCG task force consultation with the industry and international institutions.
  • Following detailed consultation, creation of the IDF is approved by the PCG Chairs (Rt Hon Justine Greening, Secretary of State, Department of International Development, UK Government and Helen Clarke, Administrator, UNDP) and mandated as a final outcome of the PCG in April 2014.
  • Dialogue and engagement initiated with UN processes to understand how the insurance sector could support the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and to shape the IDF to maximise implementation.
  • IDF features in June 2015 UN Insurance Summit at UN Headquarters in New York, attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as part of the IIS Global Insurance Forum.
  • IDF is formally launched at the Paris COP21 Climate Summit by Mike McGavick, CEO of XL Catlin.
  • IDF holds its first Steering Committee meeting with Stephen Catlin appointed Chair, and Helen Clarke (UNDP) and Joaquim Levy (World Bank) as co-chairs.
  • IDF formalises partnership with the International Insurance Society (IIS) under the leadership of Mike Morrissey, President & CEO
  • IDF formalises governance structure consisting of:
    • A high-level Steering Committee of industry chief executives & public sector institution leaders
  • IDF’s implementation programme is directed by the IDF Operating Committee of the IIS. Chair, Rowan Douglas, Willis Towers Watson; Deputy Chair, Ivo Menzinger, Swiss Re; Co- Chairs: Jan Kellett, UNDP and Olivier Mahul, World Bank

Five specialised Working Groups established:

  • Sovereign & Humanitarian Solutions:
    • Chair, Ivo Menzinger (Swiss Re); Deputy Chair, Michael Roth (Munich Re)
  • Risk Modelling Steering Group:
    • Co-Chairs, Ian Branagan (Renaissance Re) and Marc Gordon (UNDRR)
  • Law, Regulation and Resilience Policies:
    • Chair, Bill Marcoux (WCM LLC)
  • Investments:
    • Co-Chairs, David Lomas (Black Rock) and Jan Kellett (UNDP)
  • Inclusive Insurance (formerly Microinsurance):
    • Co-Chairs: Shaun Tarbuck (ICMIF), Joan Lamm Tennant (Blue Marble) and Jan Kellett (UNDP)
  • Denis Duverne (Chairman AXA Group) appointed IDF Chair with Co- Chairs Joaquim Levy, World Bank Group CFO and Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.
  • IDF Secretariat established in London, hosted by the IIS and The Institutes with support and office space provided by Clyde & Co.
  • Ekhosuehi Iyahen appointed as Secretary General to coordinate and centralise the IDF’s strategy, engagement and activities.
  • IDF becomes fully operational, representing the industry at events across the world and deepening dialogue and action on issues related to closing the protection gap and the role of insurance in addressing climate risks.
  • Keiko Honda, Executive VP and CEO of the World Bank’s MIGA appointed as Co-Chair.
  • IDF Steering Committee reaches 25 member institutions, formally welcoming new public sector member BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) and new private sector members Zurich, Ageas & China Re.
  • Operating Committee also expanded and the following achieved:
    • Membership & Governance document approved
    • Principles of Government Engagement agreed
    • IDF Chair appointed as private sector representative on the InsuResilience High Level Consultative Group
    • Working Group leadership expanded to include:
      • Daniel Clarke (Centre for Disaster Protection) as Co-Chair of the Sovereign & Humanitarian Solutions Working Group;
      • Andy Jobst (IMF) as Co-Chairs of the Investments Working Group;
      • Claus Stickler (Allianz) as Co-Chairs of the Investments Working Group;
      • Astrid Zwick (InsuResilience Secretariat), Garance Wattez-Richard (AXA) and Sabbir Patel (ICMIF) as members of the Inclusive Insurance Working Group executive leadership team.
  • IDF awarded a Lighthill Risk Network Grant as part of a project led by the University College of London (UCL) and including Oxford Brookes university, Brunel University London and the Institute of Technology Bandung (IBT) in western Java for research modelling of tsunami risk in Indonesia.
  • IDF Launches joint seminar series with the Centre for Disaster Protection and the World Bank Insurance and Disaster Risk Financing
  • IDF launches two highly successful proprietary publications
    • IDF Guide to Insuring Public Assets
    • Role of Technology in Closing the Protection Gap
  • IDF jointly publishes a background paper for the Global Adaptation Report on ‘Insurance for climate Change: Opportunities and Limitations’
  • IDF attends the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York and launches landmark Tripartite Initiative alongside UNDP and BMZ to engage with and assist 20 countries with Disaster Risk Management/ Finance by 2025 in line with the InsuResilience Vision 2025
  • IDF private sector industry members commit to implementing a public-private partnership to enable high quality risk insight to more developing countries and offer up to USD 5billion of risk capacity for climate risk insurance for selected countries by 2025.
  • Hiroshi Matano, Executive VP and CEO of the World Bank’s MIGA appointed as Co-Chair
  • IDF secures funding from private sector members for risk modelling infrastructure work
  • IDF establishes independent Legal entity and formally incorporates the Insurance Development Forum Limited as a Company Limited by Guarantee
    • Board of Directors appointed for the Insurance Development Forum Limited
      • Denis Duverne, appointed in his capacity as IDF Steering Committee Chair. He is also appointed as Chairman of the Board of Director
      • Rowan Douglas, appointed in his capacity as IDF Operating Committee Chair
      • Ekhosuehi Iyahen, appointed in her capacity as IDF Secretary General
    • Swiss re and AXA appointed as Members
    • International law firm Clyde & Co appointed as Company legal secretary
  • IDF Tripartite agreement operational elements initiated
  • BMZ commits €20 million to the project
    • €10 Million to UNDP
    • €10 Million to the InsuResilience Solutions Fund (ISF)
  • Approval and establishment of the Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) to support work under the Tripartite Agreement. Recruitment of 2 Project Managers
  • IDF receives grant funding from the IsuResilience Solutions Fund (ISF) for a project to support the development of a new insurance program for public schools in Peru. The project is a joint effort between the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, the local insurance association of Peru (APESEG) and the IDF.
  • IDF launches two highly successful proprietary publications
  • IDF completes the first phase of work under new partnership with UN OCHA on anticipatory action and forecast-based financing
  • IDF launches dedicated disaster risk reduction sub-committee
  • IDF formally considers incorporating pandemic risk into efforts of working groups