Poultry insurance anguish adds to bird flu fears
The bird flu virus in West Bengal has exposed the low
penetration of poultry insurance in the eastern part of the country. This comes
at a bad time.
According to the Business Standard, poultry insurance in the area is less
than 5%. This compares with the national average of about 9-12%, with the
majority of the insurance buyers being big hatcheries and poultry farms.
Policies may be re-addressed
It is reported that the problem of under-coverage will cause further
aggravation as insurance companies may re-address the policy terms due to
regular outbreak of such infections.
â€œWe are planning to redesign the whole policy structure for the poultry
insurance schemes, as this flu is on the rise,â€ said an executive of an
insurance company. The policies, in general, provide indemnity against death of
birds due to accident (fire, lightning, flood, etc) or diseases contracted
during the insurance period.
The claims-to-premium ratio with respect to poultry insurance in the
eastern region is about 150%. This is less than the national average of 200%.
According to the executive, this ratio is on the rise due to other infectious
diseases as well.
Higher sum for private schemes
The sum assured under the private schemes is Rs 45 for broilers and Rs 75
for layers. This compares with Rs 15 and Rs 25 respectively under government
Banks' exposure to poultry loans account for less than 1% of their overall
rural exposure as self-help groups (SHGs) play a vital role in credit
disbursement in the rural areas.
â€œNo SGH takes loans for poultry farming. It is only the individuals who are
interested in this segment and hence the exposure is low,â€ said Ambarisha Nanda,
chairman, Bangiya Gramin Vikash Bank.
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