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A fundamental role of governments around the world and at all levels – national, regional and local – is to build, manage and maintain a diverse array of public assets. However they are categorized, public assets play a vital role in enabling a country’s economic and social progress and in promoting stability and prosperity.

Whether driven by a need to support citizens in leading healthier, more productive and prosperous lives; to promote economic development; to update aging structures in mature economies; or to build out new infrastructure in emerging markets, constructing, managing and maintaining public assets represents a substantial part of government spending. To support the efforts of maintaining and building out infrastructure, these assets need to be protected so that in the event of major man-made or natural catastrophes causing losses, governments are able to repair or reconstruct them without causing an undue strain to the national economy.

In response to a request by the World Bank, the IDF undertook work in 2019 to support public officials addressing the daunting and complex task of establishing a Public Assets Insurance Programme for the first time. The output of this work was the IDF Practice Guide to Insuring Public Assets – located here.

The Guide brings together writers from across the IDF membership, from both public and private sectors, to help local, regional and national governments who are planning to set up a public assets insurance programme better understand up-front what is involved, what issues they need to consider and what options and choices they may have in their decision-making. This Guide addresses the creation of insurance programmes for public assets where the policyholders are governments who use any insurance payouts to manage liquidity gaps and maintain public services for their communities.

While this document is by no means exhaustive, it brings together the experience and insights of different global re/insurance companies and public sector experts working in both mature and emerging markets. We believe that by making this Guide available as a public goods document, it should help elected officials and government administrators in their efforts to protect the very infrastructure their constituents have paid for via state contributions.

This Guide also aims to facilitate conversations and collaboration between governments and the re/insurance industry and, especially the IDF, when consideration is being given to establish Public Asset Insurance Programmes (PAIPs) or refine existing programmes.


27th August, 2020