Evaluating the efficacy of an app-based Livestock Insurance Scheme in Rural India

Principal Investigators: Dr. Ajay Tannirkulam
Research Team: Suraj Nair, Mridulya Narasimhan and Divya Mary
LEAD Centre: Centre for Microfinance (CMF)
Focus Area: Insurance and Agriculture
Project Geography: Gujarat, India
Partner: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), HDFC ERGO
Status: Ongoing

Background:

The overall coverage of livestock insurance in India is not more than 7% of cattle population, despite being a country with the largest dairy cattle population and the presence of a livestock insurance market from as early as 1970’s. A number of supply and demand factors such as high operational costs, difficulties in verification of claims, high insurance premiums and lack of awareness about products have contributed to the low uptake of livestock insurance in India. . With advances in digital financial services and improved penetration of mobile phones in India, innovative technology driven delivery models have the potential to revolutionize the insurance market.

In this study, researchers are collaborating with insurance provider HDFC ERGO to conduct a randomized evaluation of its Android-based application that digitizes the marketing, enrolment and claim settlement process of a livestock product. The first phase of the project involves a formative evaluation of the process innovation. This will be followed by a randomized control trial which evaluates the process intervention on specific outcomes of interest such as take-up, retention rate which speaks of how livestock farmers perceive insurance as a product, life time value and so on. Roll out of the improved app based process will be preceded by a marketing and awareness campaign (regarding the need of livestock insurance and highlighting the benefits of the new-app based approach). The project is being implemented in Gujarat.