Howden, an international insurance intermediary, has acquired MiCRO, a microinsurance specialist for natural catastrophe coverage in Latin America.  

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  

MiCRO, established by Mercy Corps and Fonkoze following the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, has expanded its operations to Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico.  

The company’s parametric insurance model is said to provide swift financial support to smallholder farmers and microenterprises affected by natural disasters. 

By the end of 2023, MiCRO had more than 180,000 active policyholders, many of whom are women and smallholder farmers. 

The acquisition by Howden is expected to benefit MiCRO, providing opportunities to broaden its product offerings and extend its market reach through Howden’s global presence and expertise in data and analytics.  

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As part of the deal, Mercy Corps has exited MiCRO, but the micro insurer will continue to seek collaborative opportunities with its founder.  

Howden chair of climate risk and resilience Charlie Langdale said: “At Howden, we firmly believe that the insurance market holds significant potential for fostering resilience among underinsured communities, enabling them to adapt to the future climate landscape, and microinsurance is one of the tools to achieve this.  

“MiCRO’s proprietary data platform and exceptional expertise, both in parametric insurance but also in creating wider access to insurance, will help us scale this important capability for those most at risk.” 

MiCRO CEO Carlos Boelsterli said: “MiCRO has achieved remarkable progress in recent years, and as we embark on further expansion, Howden emerged as a natural growth partner. I have been extremely impressed with their long-term commitment to the underserved and they are undoubtedly a business whose actions speak louder than words.  

“In the face of the global challenge posed by climate change, it is essential that we empower marginalised communities with access to the correct insurance cover to cope with the volatility of tomorrow.” 

Recently, Howden introduced a cargo war risk insurance facility, offering up to $50m in coverage for vessels facing threats from drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea.  

Additionally, last month, Howden expanded its footprint in Europe with the acquisition of Curran Connolly & Company, an insurance broker based in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland.