Heat Insurance Offers Climate Change Lifeline To Poor Workers
"The colour of the jewel starts to fade as it becomes hotter, making it worthless and akin to junk", said the 56-year-old mother of four, on a late April day when temperatures simmered around 38 Celsius in the western city of Ahmedabad. Climate change drove heat in the city to a record-breaking 48C in 2016.
While traditional insurance can take months to pay, with so-called "Parametric" insurance there is no need to prove losses. At annual climate talks in Egypt last year, nonprofits urged richer nations to help finance parametric insurance as a way of compensating victims of worsening weather extremes.
It is still somewhat niche "But it's growing," said Ekhosuehi Iyahen, secretary general of the Insurance Development Forum, an industry-led group that promotes insurance for non-traditional markets. With just 1.1 billion shillings collected in premiums, the scheme operated at a loss and was replaced this year with another that offers other financial savings products alongside insurance.
Insurance payouts allow them to buy things like gloves to protect their hands from scorching hot metal tools, or fans to stay cool and avoid heat exhaustion. Had the insurance scheme been in place last year, it would have led to averaged payouts of $28 per person, said Blue Marble's de Pinies.
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