Extreme heat triggers novel payout for 50,000 women in India

By Reuters
June 13, 2024
A woman covers her child with a scarf to protect them from the heat on a road during a hot summer day in Bhubaneswar, India, May 3, 2024. — Reuters

LONDON: A group of 50,000 self-employed women in India have become the first beneficiaries of a novel insurance scheme that pays out when temperatures hit certain extremes.


As the temperature crossed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) between May 18 and May 25, the women in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra all received a flat $5 payment.

“This is the first time that insurance payouts and a direct cash assistance program have been combined to supplement the income of women when it’s dangerously hot,” said Kathy Baughman McLeod, CEO of non-profit Climate Resilience for All, which designed the insurance scheme along with India’s Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).

The bulk of the women, some 92 percent, then went on to receive an additional payout when insurance tied to the local conditions and duration of the extreme heat was triggered, with some receiving up to $19.80 each.