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The need for risk mitigation in agriculture has been ongoing. Agriculture contributes 13.9% of the GDP and any change has a multiplier effect on the economy as a whole. The target of 7-8% economic growth depends significantly on agricultural growth. Weather Insurance is an indemnity for losses that may arise due to abnormal weather conditions. These abnormal weather conditions can be events such as excess or deficit in rainfall, or variations in temperature, wind speeds and humidity.
The benefits that weather insurance offers are:
Weather insurance has a multiplier effect on the economy as it enables access to factors of production. Adequate protection offered through the weather insurance product enhances the risk taking capacity of the farmers, banks, micro-finance lenders and agro-based industries. This in turn would result in boosting the entire rural economy.
Peril identification involves appreciation of agronomic properties of the crops or nature of the economic activity. Detailed correlation analysis is carried out to ascertain the way weather impacts crop yield/output of other economic activities.
In Weather Insurance, the claim is settled on the basis of a transparent index. The index is created by assigning weights to critical periods of crop growth. The past weather data is mapped on to this index to arrive at a normal threshold index. The actual weather data is then mapped to the index to arrive at the actual index level. In case there is a material deviation between the normal index and the actual index, compensation is paid out to the insured on the basis of a pre-agreed formula.
Back Testing for Payouts
In order to ensure the robustness of the structure, the normal index is extensively tested based on historical data to ascertain if the payouts made on the basis of the chosen indices would have adequately indemnified the loss in the past or not.
Pricing is determined based on components of expected loss, volatility of historical losses, and management expenses.
This entails collection of weather data during the policy period and concurrent assessment of the ground conditions.
The claim settlement is a hassle-free process, as the beneficiary is not required to file a claim for loss to receive a payout. Instead, ICICI Lombard will compensate the beneficiary at the end of the crop season for any deviations from the normal conditions on the basis of the data collected from an independent source accessible to all, like a local weather station, thus removing the need for carrying out field surveys.
Government of India has initiated Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), which aims at supporting sustainable production in agriculture sector by way of providing financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of unforeseen events, stabilizing the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
For more information, please visit agricoop.nic.in