Rural microinsurance

Project completed
Farmer women selling their products © FDFA

Micro insurance is recognised as a useful tool for poverty reduction. However, costs for developing micro insurance products are too high for the private sector to assume them alone. SDC will share this risk with the PROFIN Foundation , who will validate the technical, legal and financial feasibility of commercialising agricultural micro insurances in Bolivia. With two pilots, this initiative will reach more than 1000 vulnerable men and women, who do not have access to adequate risk-management tools.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Informal banking & insurance
Financial policy
Tradepolicy & market system
01.11.2012 - 31.10.2020
CHF  3’070’000

About 80% of the population in Bolivia is exposed to climate risks, many of which could be effectively mitigated by insurance. However, in spite of a market potential of several million USD per year (prime volume), the insurance sector is rather small, and micro insurance to cover agricultural production practically inexistent (supply side). For this reason, many potential clients are unaware of the protection effect of micro insurance, which makes consumers’ education necessary as well (demand side). The Government has identified agricultural insurance as a priority and has developed legislation for the creation of the Instituto de Seguro Agrario to promote the development of agricultural insurance by the private sector. The environment is therefore favourable for the development of the pilots proposed.


Contribute to poverty reduction and food security, by fostering an increasing and more stable rural production, and insuring a better income thanks to functioning microinsurance markets.

Target groups

The direct target population is 1000 people, women and men, ignored by mainstream commercial and social insurance schemes, and who will have access to appropriate products and to financial education. Concerning the latter, 5000 people will also have access to it. The potential indirect target group is of around 250’000 small agricultural producers.

Medium-term outcomes

The main outcome aimed at is to generate evidence that will lead to the creation of a micro insurance market for the agricultural sector in Bolivia. At programme level outcomes are: Direct beneficiaries:

  1. Demand side: More than 1000 poor men and women are covered by micro insurance in the pilots and have received financial education;
  2. Supply side: the actors of the Bolivian micro insurance sector (insurance companies, re-insurance companies, public sector, professional associations, etc.) improve their capacities and are organised, allowing better cooperation and regulation;
  3. Demand side: At least 5000 potential clients receive financial education on insurance
Indirect beneficiaries: Crowding-in of insurance companies (supply) into the market multiplies the number of direct beneficiaries (demand).


Results from previous phases:  

Micro: The PROFIN Foundation and its partners have undertaken research and development of agricultural microinsurance products in 3 departments and 21 municipalities, providing more than 1000 smallholders (of which 12% women) with insurance coverage. Two private sector companies collaborated, and one is already planning to independently sell the product in another department from next year. Meso: Coordination with the municipality of Uriondo and departemental governments, to develop microinsurance against hail. The involvement from the Federation of Producers in the Departmentof Tarija was also insured. Macro: PROFIN has assisted the Government in the elaboration of law 144, that prescibes the creation of agricultural insurance, based on the evidence generated by SDC funded pilot projects.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • PROFIN Foundation

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’070’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’117’599
Project phases Phase 3 01.07.2020 - 30.09.2022   (Current phase)

Phase 2 01.11.2012 - 31.10.2020   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.08.2010 - 31.10.2015   (Completed)