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Co‑operators Supports Inclusive and Accessible Insurance Through the UNDP-ICMIF Insurance Innovation Challenge

Mar 12, 2024

Donation and technical assistance help scale cooperative and mutual microinsurance programs in developing economies  

TORONTO, March 12, 2024 /CNW/ - Co‑operators is pleased to invest in and support the Insurance Innovation Challenge (IIC), a joint program from the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation Foundation (ICMIF Foundation) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Insurance & Risk Finance Facility. The IIC is a global program committed to scaling socially responsible microinsurance programs that advance the goals of community and financial resiliency held by cooperatives and mutuals worldwide. In its first year, Co‑operators' financial commitment of $410,000 to the IIC supports the scaling up of four micro-insurance projects focused on strengthening the financial resilience of people, particularly women, in developing economies.

"The cooperative model makes it possible to empower real change, and partnerships like this showcase the importance of cooperative collaboration on a global scale. Projects chosen for the IIC will address some of the biggest challenges facing low and middle-income communities, including health, well-being, gender equality and sustainability," said Rob Wesseling, President and CEO, Co‑operators and Chair, ICMIF. "We are looking forward to seeing the impact that our project partners will have in delivering innovative, accessible, and inclusive insurance products for populations that need them most."

"It is with great pride that we announce the four remarkable projects selected as winners in the UNDP ICMIF Insurance Innovation Challenge," said Liz Green, CEO Designate, ICMIF "This initiative not only demonstrates the power of partnerships but also highlights the pivotal role mutual and cooperative insurers play in fostering inclusive and affordable insurance solutions for underserved communities."

The selected projects are set to receive $100,000 USD each through the IIC, along with technical assistance support from ICMIF members around the world. These projects are:

  1. National Insurance VimoSEWA Cooperative Ltd. (India)
  2. CIC Insurance Group (Kenya)
  3. Co‑operative Life Assurance Ltd (Malawi)
  4. Sanasa Life Insurance Public limited Company (SLIC) (Sri Lanka)

The IIC was first launched in March 2023 as a public-private partnership between the UNDP and the ICMIF Foundation. Successful project applicants were selected based on their focus on innovation, gender, scale and replicability, developmental impact and sustainability. All four winning projects identified women as key policyholders, such as women in rural areas earning less than three USD per day and women-run micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the InsuResilience's Global Partnership 2025 target of reaching 150 million poor and vulnerable people covered by micro-level insurance are also key considerations of the IIC.

About Co‑operators

Co‑operators is a leading Canadian financial services co‑operative, offering multi-line insurance and investment products, services, and personalized advice to help Canadians build their financial strength and security. Co‑operators has more than $62 billion in assets under administration and has been providing trusted guidance to Canadians for the past 78 years. The organization is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. Achieving carbon neutral equivalency in 2020, the organization is committed to net-zero emissions in its operations and investments by 2040, and 2050, respectively. Co‑operators is also ranked as a Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada. For more information, please visit:

Mutual funds are offered through Co‑operators Financial Investment Services Inc. to Canadian residents except those in Québec and the territories. Segregated funds and annuities are administered by Co‑operators Life Insurance Company. Terms and conditions apply. Please refer to for details.

Co‑operators Financial Investment Services Inc. is committed to protecting the privacy, confidentiality, accuracy and security of the personal information that we collect, use, retain and disclose in the course of conducting our business. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information. Co‑operators® is a registered trademark of The Co‑operators Group Limited. © 2024 Co‑operators Financial Investment Services Inc.


The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) is the global association for cooperative and mutual insurers. As a membership organisation, the Federation's mission is to help its member companies achieve their strategic goals and sustainably grow in their local markets.

Focusing on the key areas of mutuality, sustainability and business transformation, ICMIF's networking and business intelligence activities leverage the knowledge, competencies and experience of its global network of member-owned and purpose-led insurance companies across 60+ countries. Through its influence work, ICMIF represents the interests of global mutual/cooperative sector – accounting for approximately 26% of the global insurance market – to key stakeholders around the themes of resilience, disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and responsible investing.

For further information, please contact:

SOURCE The Co-operators Group Limited

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