"Goodwin and Mahul identify the key issues and concerns that arise in the design and rating of crop yield insurance plans, with a particular emphasis on production risk modeling. The authors show how the availability of data shapes the insurance scheme and the ratemaking procedures. Relying on the U.S. experience and recent developments in statistics and econometrics, they review risk modeling concepts and provide technical guidelines in the development of crop insurance plans. Finally, they show how these risk modeling techniques can be extended to price risk in order to develop crop revenue insurance schemes. This paper-- a product of the Financial Sector Operations and Policy Department-- is part of a larger effort in the department to develop effective risk management and financial products for agriculture"-- World Bank web site.
The authors propose a financial model to address the design of efficient risk financing strategies against natural disasters at the country level. It is simple enough to shed analytical light on some of the key issues but flexible and realistic enough to provide some quantitative guidance on the ex ante financing of catastrophic losses. The risk financing problem is decomposed into two steps. First, the resource gap, defined as the difference between losses and available ex-post resources (such as post-disaster aid), is identified. It determines the losses to be financed by ex ante financial instruments (reserves, catastrophe insurance, and contingent debt). Second, the cost-minimizing financial arrangements are derived from the marginal costs of the financial instruments. The model is solved through a series of graphical analyses that make this complex financial problem easier to apprehend. This model captures and explains the main impacts of financial parameters (such as insurance premium, cost of capital) on efficient risk financing structures.
This paper describes the index-based livestock insurance program in Mongolia designed in the context of a World Bank lending operation with Government of Mongolia and implemented on a pilot basis in 2005. This program involves a combination of self-insurance by herders, market-based insurance, and social insurance. Herders retain small losses, larger losses are transferred to the private insurance industry, and extreme or catastrophic losses are transferred to the government using a public safety net program. A syndicate pooling arrangement protects participating insurance companies against excessive insured losses, with excess of loss reinsurance provided by the government. The fiscal exposure of Government of Mongolia toward the most extreme losses is protected with a contingent credit facility. The insurance program relies on a mortality rate index by species in each local region. The index provides strong incentives to individual herders to continue to manage their herds so as to minimize the impacts of major livestock mortality events; individual herders receive an insurance payout based on the local mortality, irrespective of their individual losses. This project offered the first opportunity to design and implement an agriculture insurance program using a country-wide agricultural risk management approach. During the first sales season, 7 percent of the herders in the three pilot regions purchased the insurance product.
Gurenko and Mahul examine how market-based risk financing instruments could enable asset-poor but productive farmers exposed to production shocks to engage in riskier but higher-return agricultural activities. The financing of these exogenous shocks is addressed in a conceptual framework based on an optimal allocation of capital where the farm is viewed as a business unit. The approach allows for (1) testing the business viability of a specified crop by assessing the minimum business capital required to ensure the continuity of the business after the occurrence of an adverse production shock; and (2) designing an optimal risk financing program to finance the minimum capital requirements using a combination of instruments (insurance, savings, and borrowing). The authors provide numerical and graphical examples to illustrate the relevance of this financial approach to the specific issues of agricultural risk management. This paper--a product of the Financial Sector Operations and Policy Department--is part of a larger effort in the department to develop effective risk management and financial products for agriculture.
Governments in developing countries have been increasingly involved in the support of agricultural (crop and livestock) insurance programs in recent years. In their attempts to design and implement agricultural insurance, they have sought technical and financial assistance from the international community and particularly from the World Bank. One of the recurrent requests from governments regards international experience with agricultural insurance, not only in developed countries, where in some cases agricultural insurance has been offered for more than a century, but also in middleand low-income countries. Governments are particularly interested in the technical, operational, financial, and institutional aspects of public support to agricultural insurance. 'Government Support to Agricultural Insurance' informs public and private decision makers involved in agricultural insurance about recent developments, with a particular focus on middle- and low-income countries. It presents an updated picture of the spectrum of institutional frameworks and experiences with agricultural insurance, ranging from countries in which the public sector provides no support to those in which governments heavily subsidize agricultural insurance. This analysis is based on a survey conducted by the World Bank s agricultural insurance team in 2008 in 65 developed and developing countries. Drawing on the survey results, the book identifies some key roles governments can play to support the development of sustainable, affordable, and cost-effective agricultural insurance programs.