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Rural Insurance in India

At ICICI Lombard, investing in rural markets is a part of our social responsibility. The protection provided to the rural class is specific and customised according to their requirements. Through a multiple channel system, we not only provide protection for agricultural assets but also health, motor and other covers.


The PMFBY was launched in 2016 and replaces all the prevailing yield insurance schemes in India. The scheme has been launched with an impetus on rural sector. The scheme has extended coverage under localized risks, post-harvest losses etc. and aims at adoption of technology for the purpose of yield estimation. Through increased farmer awareness and low farmer premium rates the scheme aims at increasing the crop insurance penetration in India.


Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) aims at supporting sustainable production in agriculture sector by way of -

a) Providing financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of unforeseen events

b) Stabilizing the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming

c) Encouraging farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices

d) Ensuring flow of credit to the agriculture sector; which will contribute to food security, crop diversification and enhancing growth and competitiveness of agriculture sector besides protecting farmers from production risks.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Compulsory Component
    All farmers availing Seasonal Agricultural Operations (SAO) loans from Financial Institutions (i.e. loanee farmers) for the notified crop(s) would be covered compulsorily.
  • Voluntary Component
    The Scheme would be optional for the non-loanee farmers.
Coverage of Risks and Exclusions:

Following stages of the crop and risks leading to crop loss are covered under the scheme.

  • Prevented Sowing/ Planting Risk:
    Insured area is prevented from sowing/ planting due to deficit rainfall or adverse seasonal conditions
  • Standing Crop (Sowing to Harvesting):
    Comprehensive risk insurance is provided to cover yield losses due to non- preventable risks, viz. Drought, Dry spells, Flood, Inundation, Pests and Diseases, Landslides, Natural Fire and Lightening, Storm, Hailstorm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane and Tornado.
  • Post-Harvest Losses:
    coverage is available only up to a maximum period of two weeks from harvesting for those crops which are allowed to dry in cut and spread condition in the field after harvesting against specific perils of cyclone and cyclonic rains and unseasonal rains.
  • Localized Calamities:
    Loss/ damage resulting from occurrence of identified localized risks of hailstorm, landslide, and Inundation affecting isolated farms in the notified area.
General Exclusions: Losses arising out of war and nuclear risks, malicious damage and other preventable risks shall be excluded.

Low Farmer Premium Rates

The rate of Insurance Charges payable by the farmer will be as per the following table

Sr. No. Season Crops Maximum Insurance charges payable by farmer (% of Sum Insured)
1 Kharif All food grain and Oilseed crops (all Cereals, Millets, Pulses and Oilseed crops) 2.0% of SI or Actuarial rate, whichever is less
2 Rabi All food grain and Oilseed crops (all Cereals, Millets, Pulses and Oilseed crops) 1.5% of SI or Actuarial rate, whichever is less
3 Kharif and Rabi Annual Commercial / Annual Horticultural crops 5% of SI or Actuarial rate, whichever is less
Use of Technology

The new scheme envisages many new things such as utilizing innovative technologies like satellite imagery, vegetation indices etc. coupled with the mandatory usage of smart phones / hand held devices for increasing the speed and accuracy during yield estimation. In order to minimize the area discrepancy in coverage, the scheme also promotes the digitization of land records.

Increased Farmer Awareness

Efforts are being made to increase the awareness amongst farmers regarding PMFBY so that maximum number of farmers can enroll and avail benefits of the scheme.

Better Coverage

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) aims at covering the losses suffered by farmers due to reduction in crop yield as estimated by the local appropriate government authorities.

The scheme also covers pre sowing losses, post-harvest losses due to cyclonic rains and losses due to unseasonal rainfall in India. There is a provision to cover losses due to localized calamities such as inundation also in addition to the previously covered hailstorm and landslide risks.

Click here for policy wording of PMFBY
Click here to visit Govt. of India website of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

What is Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY)?

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) has been launched by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India to provide health insurance coverage for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.


Provide protection to BPL households from financial liabilities arising out of health shocks that involve hospitalisation.

Eligibility and Coverage:
  • Beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to hospitalisation coverage up to ₹30,000 for most of the diseases that require hospitalisation.
  • Government-fixed package rates for the hospitals for a large number of interventions.
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered from day one and there is no age limit.
  • Coverage extends to five members of the family, which includes the head of the household, spouse and up to three dependents. Beneficiaries need to pay only `30 as registration fee while central and state government pays the premium to the insurer selected by the state government on the basis of a competitive bidding.
The ​Beneficiary

RSBY provides the participating BPL household with the freedom of choice between public and private hospitals and makes him a potential client worth attracting on account of the significant revenues that hospitals stand to earn through the scheme.

Business Model for all Stakeholders

The scheme has been designed as a business model for a social sector scheme with incentives built for each stakeholder.


The insurer receives a premium for each household enrolled under RSBY.


A hospital has the incentive to provide treatment to a large number of beneficiaries as it is paid per beneficiary treated. Even public hospitals have the incentive to treat beneficiaries under RSBY, as the money from the insurer will flow directly to the concerned public hospital, which they can use for their own purposes.


Intermediaries such as NGOs and MFIs have a greater stake in assisting BPL households. The intermediaries will be paid for the services they render in reaching out to the beneficiaries.


By paying only a maximum sum up to ₹750 per family per year, the government is able to provide access to quality healthcare to the BPL population.

Enrollment Process for Beneficiaries

An electronic list of eligible BPL households is provided to the insurer using a pre-specified data format. An enrolment schedule for each village, along with dates, is prepared with the help of the district level officials.

As per the schedule, the BPL list is posted in each village at the enrolment station and prominent places prior to the enrolment and the date and location of the enrolment in the village is publicised in advance. Mobile enrolment stations are set up at local centres (e.g., public schools) at each village. These stations are equipped with the hardware required to collect biometric information (fingerprints) and photographs of the members of the household covered, and a printer to print smart cards with photo.

The smart card, along with an information pamphlet describing the scheme and the list of hospitals, is provided on the spot once the beneficiary has paid the registration fee. The process normally takes less than ten minutes. The cards are handed over in a plastic cover.

A government officer - Field Key Officer (FKO) needs to be present and must insert his/her own, government-issued smart card to verify the legitimacy of the enrolment. (In this way, each enrolee can be tracked to a particular state government official).

In addition to the FKO, an insurance company representative / smart card agency representative must be present. At the end of the each day of enrolment, the list of households that have been issued smart cards is sent to the state nodal agency. This list of enrolled households is maintained centrally and is the basis for financial transfers from the Government of India to the state governments. This list of enrolled households is maintained centrally and is the basis for financial transfers from the Government of India to the state governments.

RSBY has a provision whereby an insurer has to hire intermediaries (e.g. NGOs, MFIs, etc.) to provide grassroots outreach and assist members in utilising the services after enrolment.

For more information, kindly visit Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana website

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