Drones may be deployed to expedite crop insurance claim settlements

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The Agricultural Insurance Corporation of India (AIC) Limited, a public sector organization engaged in providing insurance cover for various crops, is in discussions with various commodity boards for exclusive crop insurance schemes.

A senior agricultural insurance company official said one of the company’s goals was to speed up insurance claims settlement by farmers and the company was exploring new technology, including the deployment of drones, along with traditional claims assessment methods for quick settlements.

This would also enhance the accuracy of claims assessment at the granular level even in disaster-like situations where human intervention may not be possible.

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Although there are about 20 lakh farmers in Kerala, only about one of them is under crop insurance coverage. The huge gap in insurance coverage was mostly due to there being more agricultural crops like coconut, rubber, cardamom, coffee and tea which were not covered under insurance. At the same time, the official added, there was a great need for insurance coverage for agricultural crops due to the ever-changing climatic conditions.

The official also said that the al-Hail plan would soon be launched jointly with the Spice Board. Likewise, a scheme for rubber plantations has been drawn up in consultation with the Rubber Council. The public sector crop insurance company was waiting for rubberboard confirmation to implement the plan.

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AIC of India Limited was established in December 2002 to meet the country’s crop insurance requirements. General Insurance Corporation of India, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, National Insurance Corporation Limited, New India Insurance Corporation, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance Corporation are shareholders of AIC.

“The incorporation of technology into crop insurance is being vigorously promoted by the union government and is of great importance to the success of crop insurance,” the official added. There are about 5.5 crores of farmers who have secured crop insurance coverage across the country, and about 3 crores of these farmers are served by AIC.

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