Mrs Nagammal is a member of the Sellur Vattara Kallanjiam (a women’s self-help group based in Madurai, Southern India).
Her son recently fell ill and was treated in hospital. Fortunately, Mrs Nagammal had purchased health microinsurance for her family with the DHAN Foundation through her membership of the self-help group. The self-help group facilitated the transaction, meaning the Mrs Nagammal and her family were able to avoid paying costly up-front medical costs for her son’s treatment, which they would have been unable to afford.
“Being a member of the Kallanjiam (self-help group) has been very useful for us” Mrs Nagammal explains.
Mrs Rakku resides in Madurai (Southern India). She is the Vice-President of Sellur Vattara Kallanjam, a women’s self-help group formed through the DHAN Foundation (India).
Through her membership of this self-help group, Mrs Rakku has enrolled both herself and her family in the DHAN Foundation’s health and life microinsurance schemes.
Mrs Rakku’s husband recently had a cataract in his eye, which was operated on. Her daughter also recently fell ill with typhoid. Fortunately, she was able to make a claim for both her husband and daughter’s medical treatment through her microinsurance policy.
Mrs Rakku explains that the DHAN Foundation staff who work at her self-help group (the Kallanjam) were really helpful with helping her process the required documentation and bills.
Mrs Aatheeswari resides in the Southern Indian city of Madurai. Around a third of the city’s population reside in slums.
Mrs Aatheeswari’s 73-year-old husband recently fell down a flight of stairs. He was very badly hurt and left speechless as a result of his injuries. Mrs Aatheeswari’s son paid the healthcare costs of INR 50,000 (USD 700) for her husband’s treatment, yet sadly he later died.
Because Mrs Aatheeswari’s husband was insured with a life microinsurance policy through the DHAN Foundation, she received a claim payment of INR 20,000 (USD 280) after her husband’s death which she shared with her son.
Mrs Aatheeswari belongs to Sellur Vattara Kallanjam, a local women’s self-help group in Madurai formed through the DHAN Foundation. She purchased insurance and made this claim through her Kallanjam membership.
Featured in the news story is Tom Gitogo, Group CEO of CIC, and Preis Njenga, Chair of Kiambaa Diary Cooperative. Tom Gitogo discusses how CIC's livestock microinsurance product will protect farmers' livelihood by insuring their cattle, which is often their most valuable asset. In her interview, Preis Njenga is talking to farmers about the benefits of insurance from her own experience.CIC plan to reach an additional 250,000 low-income dairy livestock farmers in Kenya with microinsurance through the ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy. This project is being supported by partners P&V Group (Belgium), Thrivent (USA) and We Effect (Sweden).
CIC's livestock microinsurance product includes access to veterinary services for farmers. CIC is partnering with dairy cooperatives and SACCO's to distribute the product.Preis Njenga, Chair of Kiambuu Dairy Cooperative, also talks to farmers about the benefits of insurance from her own experience.
On 11 July 2019, CIC launched a caravan roadshow to raise awareness of the product to livestock farmers in Kiambu County, Kenya.Through the ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy, CIC aim to reach 250,000 previously uninsured livestock farmers in Kenya. This project is being supported by partners P&V Group (Belgium), Thrivent (USA) and We Effect (Sweden).
In this video interview, taken at the DHAN Foundation’s offices in Madurai, Tamil Nadu (India), Mr M P Vasimali (Executive Director, the DHAN Foundation) discusses the DHAN Foundation’s project with ICMIF under the 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy. He also explains why the concept of mutuality is central to the work of the DHAN Foundation.
Mr Vasimali begins: “I’m really happy to share our positive experience of the collaboration between the DHAN Foundation and ICMIF.”
He continues “DHAN stands for “Development of Humane Action”. The Humaneness comes from addressing mutuality and solidarity.
“DHAN initiated our work with social capital. Where you bring unorganised people together thought mutuality, for their own livelihoods and also through savings.
“Why is DHAN involved in ICMIF’s collaborative programme (the 5-5-5)? I think this mutuality programme provides a unique niche for poor communities to address their vulnerabilities and risks. Either their livelihood risks, their life risks and also their crop risks.
“So mutuality impacts poor peoples’ lives by providing resilience to address these kinds of risks.
Mr Vasimali concludes: “Currently we are able to reach out to nearly 300,000 families with life, health and now we are going to work on livestock.”
Mr Vasimali has worked in development for over three decades and was instrumental to forming the DHAN Foundation in 1997.
Brian Merkel, an employee of ICMIF member company Thrivent Financial (USA), visited Manchester (UK) in October 2018 to participate in a Technical Assistance assignment for the 5-5-5.
As an experienced Business Process Engineer, Brian’s task was to streamline and improve the existing processes of the 5-5-5 project.
Over the course of two weeks, Brian enjoyed the challenge of applying his existing skills to new markets and connecting with many different people both at the ICMIF head office and also with people working on the 5-5-5 projects out in the field. Brian’s work will also lead to greater efficiency going forwards in ICMIF’s mission to reach 5 million low-income households with microinsurance through the 5-5-5.
Ms Palaneeswari, SUHAM Hospital coordinator for the DHAN Foundation (India), explains how policyholders are able to avoid paying for expensive medical treatments which they can’t afford when they are admitted to hospital: “When a patient gets admitted to hospital for treatment, the treatment is approved by the federation. This helps to provide affordable treatment for all the enrolled poor members.”
Ms Palaneeswari also discuss some of the reasons why the DHAN Foundation’s health microinsurance policy is different to other insurance providers in the video: “The other insurance products in the market have a lot of exclusions during the initial years. We have very minimal exclusions.”
SUHAM Hospital, where Ms Palaneeswari works, runs entirely on the efforts of village-level self-help groups (SHGs) formed by underprivileged village women in India. A survey undertaken in early 2007 by the SHGs revealed that poor families spent 40% of their income on medical treatments.
The DHAN Foundation’s health microinsurance product is distributed via a network of SHGs, which cluster together to form federations. Policyholders can receive treatment at an affordable cost at the SUHAM Hospital, which works directly with the federations to reclaim the cost of the policyholders’ treatment directly.
She is visited by Mrs Pillai, a prominent women's group leader in Tamil Nadu.
Mr Iyappan comments: "In the first year we started our health insurance programme with our own Kalanjam (self-help group) members with the support of People Mutuals (the insurance arm of the DHAN Foundation)."He also added: "Lots of poor Kalanjam members have been able to benefit from this programme... The claims delay has been reduced from 15 months to 1 or 2 months, which is our greatest achievement."
The ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy is aiming to scale up the DHAN Foundation's operations to reach over 1 million low-income people with microinsurance over the next five years.