A Micro Insurance Policy for customers of WOMEN’S MICRO BANK LIMITED (WMBL), underwritten by LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION (PNG) LIMITED (LICL) was launched on Wednesday 28 January 2015 at ToRobert Haus, Bank of Papua New Guinea. The Deputy Governor of BPNG Mr Benny Popoitai, who is also the Chairman of Micro Expansion Project (MEP), was the Guest of Honor & Keynote Speaker.

This event is significant because it marked the beginning of a partnership between PNG’s premier life insurer, LICL, and the only Women’s Micro Bank in the Pacific which happens to be the 4th Women’s Bank in the world & the 5th Micro Bank in PNG.

Life Insurance Corporation (PNG) Limited (LICL) has been in existence for more than eleven (11) years. It is 1 of only 4 licensed insurers (licensed & regulated by the Bank of Papua New Guinea) in PNG. LICL’’s major share-holder is the PNG Teachers Association Welfare Fund, which also holds the major shares in National Teachers Insurance Limited (a general insurer regulated by the Office of Insurance Commissioner).

Women’s Micro Bank Limited (WMBL) obtained its license in May 2014 after going through a thorough stringent appraisal process. In issuing a banking license to WMBL, the Bank of Papua New Guinea was expressing a vote of confidence in the role of women in nation-building. And the MERI LAIP INSURANS PLAN was one of the innovative products being supported by BPNG & MEP that would entice women to join the Micro Bank.

At the Official Launching of MERI LAIP INSURANS PLAN, the General Manager of LICL Mr. Raka Taviri Snr & the CEO of WMBL Ms Thushari Hewapathirana, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which set down the terms & conditions of the partnership & the insurance policy. The signing was witnessed by the Deputy Governor of BPNG Mr. Benny Popoitai & the Team Leader of MEP Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe. Representatives of LICL, WMBL & the media were also present.

The signing of the MOA also signifies the bank’s commitment to provide affordable micro insurance products & services through reputable insurance providers like LICL.

The MERI LLAIP INSURANS PLAN (MLIP) has 2 significant features, namely:-

  1. MLIP provides protection (for WMBL & the borrower) by insuring the loan in case the borrower defaults through death, in which case the remaining loan balance is paid off by LICL
  2. Under MLIP, LICL will aslo pay out a Hauskrai/Funeral Benefit of K5,000 (if insured member is age 18 to 60) or K2,500 (if insured member is over 60 years old) to nominated beneficiaries.

This partnership intends to help the GoPNG through the Bank of PNG, through its initiatives like the Microfinance Expansion Project (MEP), the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), achieve the unenviable goal of reaching out to the 86% of PNG’s population who are said to be unbanked or under-banked. In particular, the Governor of BPNG would like to see 1 million new bank accounts opened by December 2015. Now with the introduction of MERI LAIP INSURANS PLAN, an affordable, innovative & essential micro insurance product, WMBL will be able to contribute to this goal by attracting the masses.