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Microcrop insurer seeks to tap capital markets

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LAS VEGAS — An insurtech firm offering crop insurance to farmers in Africa is seeking to directly access capital markets investors to back the coverage.

Speaking at InsureTech Connect in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Christopher Sheehan, co-founder and CEO of Worldcover PBC in New York, said the company offers parametric weather insurance to small farmers and is a licensed broker in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.

“We pay farmers when it doesn’t rain,” he said.

The company uses remote sensing and satellite data to estimate rainfall and track other weather events, Mr. Sheehan said.

“Whether we are in New York or London, we can actually model those events and trigger claims automatically,” he said. Premiums and claims can be made via cellphones, Mr. Sheehan said.

The coverage historically has been placed with Lloyd’s of London insurers and global reinsurers, he said.

“Now there are lots more platforms and so forth to access capital markets, even retail investors,” Mr. Sheehan said.

Worldcover is looking to build a platform that allows farmers and previously uninsured businesses access to those markets for coverage, he said.