There’s a number of challenges that have kept insurance for smallholder farmers from being widely available.
Awareness: Insurance is not a well understood or tangible concept for people who haven’t experienced it. The farmers we talk to think about access to financing - how do I buy more seeds, fertilizers, and so on. They often get loans with extreme terms (even 40% for 6 months!), leading to terrible debt and even suicide. We talk to them in those terms, the value they get from insurance and in turn the loans they can qualify for once insured.
Distribution: How do you reach remote farmers, and in their local language? We set up last mile distribution by leveraging the reach of mobile operators, and empowering farmers to pay via their existing mobile wallets. We overcome language and literacy barriers by setting up call centers and sending voice notes in local languages, and sending field teams that go village to village.
Cost of scale: We have to drive down the price of premiums to make insurance accessible. Our key enabler has been earth observation data - instead of physically sending someone to verify a weather event, we automate verification at scale by looking at weather indexes and auto-triggering claim compensation. That lowered marginal cost means we can reach many more farmers.