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Parametric insurance

Parametric insurance is a type of insurance that covers the predefined, direct and indirect costs of a particular event if specific conditions are met, regardless of the actual loss incurred. Unlike traditional indemnity insurance, which reimburses the policyholder for the amount of loss suffered, parametric insurance pays out a fixed amount based on the occurrence of a triggering event. This type of insurance is often used for natural disasters and other catastrophic events where the cost of loss is difficult to quantify.

Features of Parametric Insurance

  • Triggering Events: The triggering events in parametric insurance are predefined and objectively measurable. Common triggers include natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods, with specific parameters such as wind speed, seismic activity, or water levels.
  • Payout Structure: The payout in parametric insurance is fixed and agreed upon in advance. It is determined based on the severity of the triggering event measured against the predefined parameters.
  • Speedy Claims Settlement: Due to the predefined triggers and payout amounts, claims settlement is usually faster and less bureaucratic compared to traditional insurance. This is crucial in providing timely financial relief to the insured.

Application of Parametric Insurance

  • Natural Catastrophe Coverage: Parametric insurance is often utilized for covering losses from natural catastrophes. It provides immediate liquidity to individuals, businesses, and governments to aid in recovery efforts.
  • Agricultural Sector: In the agricultural sector, parametric insurance can provide coverage against adverse weather conditions that affect crop yields. Parameters such as rainfall levels or temperature can be used as triggers.
  • Business Interruption: Businesses can utilize parametric insurance to protect against revenue loss due to specific events like power outages or supply chain disruptions.

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Speedy claims settlement provides quick financial relief.
  • Simplified claims process with less administrative burden.
  • Coverage for non-traditional and hard-to-quantify risks.


  • Basis risk, where the payout may not match the actual loss incurred.
  • Limited customization compared to traditional insurance products.
  • May require additional indemnity insurance to cover all potential losses.

Case Studies

Parametric insurance offers a unique solution for managing risks associated with catastrophic events and other challenging scenarios. The simplicity and speed of claims settlement make it an attractive alternative or complement to traditional insurance products. As technology continues to evolve, parametric insurance is poised to play an increasing role in global risk management strategies.

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