Dealflow | May 28, 2020

GramCover raises early funding to insure India’s rural households

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, May 28 –Poor distribution has kept affordable insurance products for safeguarding health, livelihoods and possessions out of reach for most of India’s low-income, rural households. GramCover launched in 2018 to bridge the insurance access gap through digital services.

GramCover reaches more than 1.3 million farmers and has sold $10 million in premiums. The company, based in Noida in the rural state of Uttar Pradesh, started with crop and livestock products from private insurers and government schemes for smallholder farmers. Investment from EMVC, Flourish, Omidyar Network India and Omnivore will support the company’s expansion of newer product lines, like health and motor insurance.

GramCover’s Jatin Singh got the idea for the digital brokerage from his other venture, Skymet, which uses weather data to settle claims for government-subsidized rural insurance. “We solved the data problem, and it just made the market bigger,” he told ImpactAlpha.

With climate change and a pandemic, low-cost crop and health insurance products present high risks for insurers. Internet and smartphone access in rural areas make selling such products easier and more affordable and help insurers diversify risk. 

Added Singh, “If you insure more people, you can reduce rural distress and eventually create surpluses.”