MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Women’s Cooperative Vimo SEWA to Become Microinsurance Agent for L&T Insurance

Vimo SEWA, a woman’s insurance cooperative in India promoted by the nongovernmental organization Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), has partnered with L&T Insurance, an Indian insurance company, to become L&T’s first microinsurance agent. The cost of the insurance will range from INR 50 (USD 1) to INR 730 (USD 14) per year and coverage can protect against illness, loss of wages and death. The range of coverage amounts is not available. The partners also plan to add cattle and fire insurance to their offerings.

Among the services of L&T Insurance is an online platform that allows insurance agents to issue policies immediately in the field. The company reported total assets of INR 2.75 billion (USD 56 million) for 2011 and has branches in the Indian states of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Coimbatore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.

Mirai Chaterjee, the director of Social Security at SEWA, said she hopes the partnership will be able to expand into sectors such as rural housing, consumer education and setting up a microinsurance school. Microinsurance agents will attend 25 hours of obligatory training in the city of Ahmedabad.

The Shree Mahila Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is a women’s cooperative operating under the Reserve Bank of India that aims to empower its members by providing them with access to financial services.

The 147 Indian microfinance institutions that report 2010 data to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) held an aggregate gross loan portfolio of USD 5.2 billion disbursed to 31.7 million borrowers.

By Charlotte Newman, Research Associate

About Vimo SEWA
Vimo SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association) provides a variety of social insurance services to 125,000 women across five Indian states. The Vimo SEWA microinsurance model focuses on delivering a variety of insurance services to women working outside the formal economy financed by annual premiums. Vimo SEWA is a member of the SEWA family of organizations, all of which are based on the idea of success through “struggle and development.” Other SEWA entities include SEWA Bank, SEWA Academy, Gujarat Mahila Housing SEWA Trust, SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre and Video SEWA. In 2012 Vimo SEWA partnered with L&T Insurance to become its first microinsurance agent.

About Shree Mahila Self Employed Women’s Association
SEWA Bank is a cooperative that was registered in 1974 and operates under the supervision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, and the state government of Gujarat. As of January 2011, SEWA Bank operates in the city of Ahmedabad and several rural districts of Gurjarat. SEWA Bank’s members consist of poor women from underserved, rural communities. The bank’s goal is to empower these women by providing them with access to financial services. As of December 2009, SEWA Bank reported to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), total assets of USD 31.7 million, a gross loan portfolio of USD 10.4 million, return on assets of 0.52 percent and return on equity of 3.06 percent.

Sources and Additional Resources:

ExpressIndia.com: “Vimo SEWA All Set to Become First Microinsurance Agent,” http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/vimosewa-all-set-to-become-first-micro-insurance-agent/910399/

MicroCapital.org story, April 15, 2010, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microinsurer Vimo SEWA to Advise Implementation of Namibian Microinsurance System,” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-indian-microinsurer-vimo-sewa-to-advise-implementation-of-namibian-microinsurance-system/

MicroCapital.org story, January 14, 2011, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Proposes $10m Investment in Shree Mahila Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) Bank of Gujarat, India, for Microfinance,” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-international-finance-corporation-ifc-proposes-10m-investment-in-shree-mahila-self-employed-womens-association-sewa-bank-of-gujarat-india-for-microfinance/

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Vimo SEWA
http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=vimo+sewa

MicroCapital Universe Profile: SEWA
http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Shree+Mahila+Self+Employed+Women%E2%80%99s+Association+%28SEWA%29+Bank

Browse the MicroCapital Universe and add your entry to the wiki at http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/

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