When in 2011 OPIC provided political risk insurance in connection with the American International School of Bamako in Mali, the West African nation was a stable democracy. The insurance protects against loss of business income, including evacuation expenses, resulting from political violence.
Political risk insurance, like all insurance, is a product that the buyer never hopes will be used. But in the year after OPIC provided the insurance, the political situation in Mali deteriorated rapidly and potential risks to the school operation that had once seemed unlikely, came to pass. Last March, a group of Malian soldiers seized power and in the aftermath school officials evacuated and closed the school.
After reopening the school in August, a claim was filed for loss of income resulting from the political violence, and in February 2013, OPIC paid a claim of almost $1.4 million.
Today the school is open as it continues to monitor security in the region. Although the families of some of its former students have left Mali, some 83 students are enrolled, including some who transferred from other schools that were closed. Its ongoing operation is helping support the community of international aid workers and diplomats who are helping advance development and stability in Mali.
OPIC’s ability to provide insurance in this part of the world and honor a claim resulting from unforeseen political turmoil illustrates how it is positioned at the forefront of both the U.S. development and the national security agenda.