The Cook Islands was selected as the domicile of choice for the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative Facility (PCRAFI) based on its well-established international financial services sector, robust regulatory regime, and implementation of international standards. The PCRAFI is a mechanism designed to provide participating Pacific island countries with affordable climate and disaster risk insurance.
The PCRAFI Facility was established using the Cook Islands Foundations and Captive Insurance regimes and is administered by members of a foundation council to ensure that all participating countries have a stake in the ownership and administration of the PCRAFI Facility. The council is made up of representatives from the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu as well as four other members representing developing partners.
The Foundation (PCRIF), in turn, owns a captive insurance company called Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC) which holds a captive insurance licence under the Cook Islands Captive Insurance Act 2013. PCRIC provides disaster relief insurance coverage to the participating countries and is managed by a board of directors nominated by the member countries.
The PCRAFI Programme benefits from more than US$40 million in grants through the World Bank-managed PCRAFI Multi Donor Trust Fund, including contributions from Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States through the InsuResilience Initiative, which aims to increase access to climate risk insurance for the most vulnerable. The PCRAFI structure demonstrates the credibility of the Cook Islands Foundation and Captive Insurance regimes. It also exhibits international recognition that the Cook Islands has a strong legal and regulatory framework that can support an international infrastructure initiative.
Asiaciti Trust plays several roles in this initiative new to the Pacific in that the Cook Islands Office, Asiaciti Trust Pacific Limited, was selected to provide the registered office and resident secretary for the Foundation and the Company. Also, appointed to the role of Resident Director for the Company is Cook Islander, Lesley Katoa, General Manager for the Cook Islands Office. This role includes preparation and attendance to start up activities for PCRIC, preparation and attendance at the PCRIC negotiation meeting, procurement of the Insurance Manager, Legal Support, Executive Search Agency, Reinsurance Broker and Auditor.