25 February 2011

Insurer unveils livestock insurance for pastoralists

Insurer unveils livestock insurance for pastoralists ; NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenyan insurer UAP has introduced a specific policy for pastoralists as it continued with its innovative approach to delivering affordable and accessible insurance solutions to the agriculture and livestock sectors.

UAP Insurance Managing Director James Wambugu said the firm has partnered with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to develop the model for drought risk assessment in arid and semi arid areas that are persistently exposed to drought conditions.

“We have rolled out the Index Based Livestock Insurance policy in Marsabit district after two years of piloting that generated valuable lessons and we are very optimistic that it will give the pastoralists an easier, affordable and accessible mechanism to protect their livestock,” he said.

With drought becoming a recurrent risk for pastoralists, Wambugu noted that the insurer has also partnered with Equity Bank to develop a distribution model for the policy amongst the pastoralist.

He said the UAP, the ILRI and the Equity Bank have worked for the last two years to develop and introduce an annual livestock insurance policy that compensates the pastoralists in this region for their livestock that die from lack of adequate pasture as a result of drought.

The insurance policy is distributed by the Equity Bank across the whole of northern region areas. The policy is important as it enables pastoralists to restock animals they may lose following a severe drought.

Therefore, it protects them from poverty while giving them the ability to meet their social and family needs. Pastoralists are compensated according to the value of animals they have insured.

After a drought has occurred and an insured pastoralist has suffered livestock losses, compensation is done per division based on average predicted livestock deaths over the cover period.

“That is, the insurance will start to pay when the satellite indicates that 15 percent of the livestock would die as a result of drought. The compensation payout is done twice a year either after the short dry season or after the long dry season, which fall in March and October respectively,” Wambugu said.

The satellite pictures, which show the level of forage, allow the project partners to follow up on the severity of drought conditions in the five different divisions.

This information is verified and certified by the Kenya Meteorological Department.

In the event of a payout, the affected pastoralists do not need to make an application for compensation since this will be announced at the division level through the area chiefs and on the local radio.

The policy is available to pastoralists every year in the months of January and February and then in August and September at the Equity Bank and its appointed agents. articel from coastweek.com..

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