Press Releases

IFC, American Life to Provide Life Insurance to Low-income Families in Brazil

In Lima:
Clara Ugarte Perrin, IFC
Phone: (+511) 6112501

In São Paulo:

Richard de Freitas        

Phone: +55 11 30170047


São Paulo, Brazil, March 28, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with American Life, an insurance company in Brazil, to launch a life insurance product targeting low-income families in the country.

IFC’s advisory services to American Life will start with a business planning effort, followed by a pilot to test and refine the product. The expansion phase is scheduled for 2012. The target market for microinsurance in Brazil is composed of 128 million people whose families earn less than $800 a month. Despite the size of the market, expansion thus far has been modest and has not penetrated low-income populations.

“American Life is a Brazilian insurance company that offers life insurance to niche segments not covered by most large insurance companies. Building a strong presence in the microinsurance space is now among our high priorities,” said Pedro de Freitas, Head of American Life. Using flexibility and innovation, American Life has achieved robust growth, increasing its income six-fold during the past six years. Currently, the company insures close to a million lives.

“This project is aligned with IFC’s strategy in Brazil, and its Global Financial Markets strategy, which among other objectives, focuses on increasing access to finance for low-income segments,” said Loy Pires, IFC Country Manager for Brazil. “We acknowledge the importance of insurance products for low-income families in managing risks, and through the partnership with American Life, we expect to provide relevant contribution to the Brazilian microinsurance space and to develop innovative ways to reach the base of the pyramid.” This pioneering effort will also have a demonstration effect, enticing other insurance firms to enter this segment.

IFC’s strategy in Brazil is also aimed to strengthen infrastructure and public services, including health and education, by increasing private sector participation. Other key areas include improving the investment climate, promoting socially and environmentally sustainable practices, helping small businesses join the formal economy, and strengthening private sector competitiveness.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit

For more information about American Life, visit: