The Missing Chapter of Microinsurance in India: A Diagnostic of Mutuals

Landscape and case studies of mutuals, cooperatives and other community-based organizations

In India, mutual insurance is not widely known despite the fact that there were mutual insurance companies in existence even before the country’s independence in 1947. Though insurance-based social security schemes exist, a large section of the Indian population remains excluded with insurance penetration at 3.44%. With about 600,000 cooperatives in the country and a membership of over 250 million, the potential for developing mutual and cooperative insurance in India is enormous.

This report presents a first-of-its-kind diagnostic study focused on the mutual model in India, highlighting the potential role that mutual microinsurance can play in closing the protection gap in India, identifying the challenges facing the mutual model, and making recommendations for future development.

Based on the country diagnostic design, the country study was carried out in two parts; the landscape of mutuals, cooperatives and other community-based organizations (MCCOs), and case studies of select models. The aim of the landscape section was to provide a comprehensive picture of MCCOs and the models operated by them by identifying as many players and schemes as possible. The case studies section aimed to document prominent MCCOs in India, highlight their products, business models, best practices, challenges in risk coping and other key concerns.

About this Publication

By Thomas, G. E., Vaze, A., Oza, A. & Nisar, S.