Novel Insurance Scheme Aids 50,000 Indian Women in Extreme Heat

A group of 50,000 self-employed women in India have become the first beneficiaries of an innovative insurance program that provides financial assistance when temperatures reach dangerous extremes, Reuters reported yesterday.

As temperatures climbed above 40°C (104°F) from May 18-25, the women in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra received a flat $5 payment. Additionally, 92% of the women received further payouts tied to the local conditions and duration of the heat, with some earning up to $19.80 each.

Designed by non-profit Climate Resilience for All and India’s Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), this program combines insurance payouts and direct cash assistance to support vulnerable communities impacted by extreme weather. The total payments across the initiative amounted to $341,553, underwritten by reinsurer Swiss Re and provided locally by ICICI Lombard.

This novel approach highlights the growing use of insurance as a tool to rapidly deliver financial aid to those affected by climate-related disasters.

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