Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Ltd, a microfinance institution, and flagship company of the BASIX Group, engaged in the promotion of sustainable livelihoods across 15 states in the country along with their insurance partner Royal Sundaram were instrumental in proactively settling insurance claims of over Rs. 51 lakh of its customers who were victims of the recent floods in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh and Bellary and Raichur districts of Karnataka state.
It may be recalled that on 2nd October this year, 373 villages in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were fully or partly affected by unprecedented floods. Apart from life casualties, livestock and micro-enterprises were washed out severely affecting the livelihoods of several people.
BASIX has been operating in this region for over a decade offering a wide range of Financial Inclusion services such as Savings, Insurance, Remittances and Credit; and Livelihood Promotion services such as Agriculture, Micro-business & Institutional Development.
For all affected customers in the region, who had availed of its Insurance Services, BASIX and their insurance partner Royal Sundaram, decided to pass on the insurance benefit proactively, instead of waiting for them to lodge their claims. This was done with a view of minimizing the lead-time to settle a claim and to ensure that the affected customers could quickly re-establish their livelihoods.
Consequently, as soon as the floods subsided, BASIX and Royal Sundaram commissioned an “Emergency Response Team”, who organised a massive onsite survey to collate all required data. A simplified claim form was also specially designed to facilitate early settlement.
In all, 22 SMART Facilitators (SF) from different regions of Andhra Pradesh were trained and deputed to collect the data and fill the forms. In the first phase of flood claims survey, 1,149 claims were reported, including 125 for livestock and 1,024 for Micro enterprise, in Kurnool, Bellary and Raichur districts. These claims were processed after verification by using the enrolment forms available in the BASIX units/ branches.
Following this, a sum of Rs.50,76,710 pertaining to 1,068 claims have been handed over for customer disbursements, to BSFL COO Mr.D. Sattaiah by Mr. M S Sreedhar, COO, Royal Sundaram.
Mr. Sattaiah said, “BASIX’s strategy is to provide a comprehensive set of livelihood promotion services. Over the years insurance has become an integral part of this strategy. It is important to protect the Livelihoods of our customers and support them with effective Livelihood Promotion Services”
According to Ajay Bimbhet, Managing Director, Royal Sundaram, “Royal Sundaram has attempted to address the specific needs of the rural market with tailor-made products at an affordable premium. Basix is an ideal partner in this venture since people in the rural areas have enduring relationships with institutions like them based on their services, their drive to promote sustainable livelihoods, their trust and goodwill. The speedy and proactive measures taken by Basix and Royal Sundaram team to reinstate the lives of the affected customers, is a demonstration of our commitment toward the rural segment and the quality of claims settlement.”
Today BASIX, with its partners, Royal Sundaram and AVIVA, offers a wide range of insurance products covering life, health, livestock, enterprise, rainfall risks for all its credit and non-credit customers.
Around 1.6 million members are covered for life and health insurance and 250,000 customers are offered livestock insurance and other products. Cumulatively since 2001, BASIX has settled over 50,000 claims to the tune of nearly Rs.200 million.
BASIX is a livelihood promotion institution established in 1996, working with over a million and a half customers, over 90 percent being rural poor households and about 10 percent urban slum dwellers. BASIX group entities work in 16 states – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Assam and over 22,400 villages. It has a staff of over 5,900 of which 80 percent are based in small towns and villages.
BASIX mission is to promote a large number of sustainable livelihoods, including for the rural poor and women, through provision of financial services and technical assistance in an integrated manner. BASIX strives to yield a competitive rate of return to its investors so as to be able to access mainstream capital and human resources on a continuous basis.