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Volunteer Spotlight - Terry Narine

Terry Narine in PhilippinesTerry Narine pictured left meeting with sari sari store owner Laurie Legarte, conducted an actuarial volunteer placement for the PREMIUM project in the Philippines in September.  He worked with the RIMANSI product development team to develop, design and price sari-sari (convenience) store enterprise insurance.  He also met with the Philippines Insurance Commissioner and his staff to determine and assess the Commission’s standards and specifications for the design/licensing of non-life insurance. Terry recently shared his volunteering experience.

Why were you interested in a volunteer assignment with CCA?  And the PREMIUM Project?

I consider being able to volunteer on the PREMIUM project a significant career accomplishment. I’ve volunteered on numerous industry committees and with other groups. However, the opportunity to influence the design and pricing of an insurance product for an entire nation, the Philippines, is something I will always look back on fondly in my career. More importantly, being able to bring a needed and necessary insurance product to disadvantaged people who clearly need it gives me a true feeling of joy. From a historical perspective, some parts of the Philippines suffered significant loss of life and property when Hurricane Haiyan hit on November 8th, 2013. It was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. While many have rebuilt their properties and livelihood, because of the location of the Philippines, these same individuals will be in danger the next time a large hurricane hits. We can’t stop the hurricanes, however it’s good to know that an insurance product I worked on will enable those impacted to recover from future disasters like Hurricane Haiyan.  Can’t wait for the product to be launched!

What is innovative about the outcomes being achieved in the project?

Currently, the non-profit insurance organizations that operate in the Philippines called Mutual Benefit Associations (“MBAs”) are not allowed to issue and underwrite calamity insurance including hurricane risk, flood, fire and earthquake risk. As such, they will have to partner with a property casualty insurer to provide insurance to their members. A partner, Pioneer Insurance, has been found and will be developing and underwriting the product. This will be a new product for the MBAs to offer and will enhance their scope and marketing reach to their members. More importantly, the millions of disadvantaged Filipinos who require this coverage, will now have a way of rebuilding their lives and livelihoods after disaster strikes. The fact that all aspects of the development, pricing and implementation of the product are charting new territory points to the innovation surrounding this mission – all thanks to CCA and Global Affairs Canada’s support!   

Other innovations around the product include a marketing survey to the MBAs, field personnel and actual future insureds to truly understand the needs of the product before finalizing product design. Should the experience on the product be a positive one, it would be hoped that at some point in the future the MBAs will be able to underwrite and issue their own calamity product as they currently do with life and creditor insurance. This would serve to add to the innovation currently under way with the PREMIUM project.    

What have you learned?

Perhaps the greatest lesson that I take away from my experience in the Philippines is that there are many caring and interested people on both sides of the ocean who want to see greater success among the disadvantaged of the planet. While in the Philippines, I met many professional and talented people who impressed me with their knowledge of insurance. I also had opportunity to meet a small group of individuals who would benefit from the insurance. One gentleman said in the field meeting I had with them, “We want our lives to succeed and do well just like the Co-operative is doing well”. A co-operative is a form of MBA. This statement was very touching to me. At the end of the day, we all want to improve our lives for our kids and our families. The generosity of CCA to support this project also points to the spirit of development and co-operation from Canadians at large to help those less fortunate in other parts of the world.