In a country like India where agriculture is the lifeblood of millions, farmers face an unrelenting battle against unpredictable weather, pests, and other devastations. Recognising the crucial need for a safety net, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare introduced the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMDBY) in 2016. The government-backed agricultural insurance scheme aims to protect farmers from the financial burden of crop loss and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. To ensure such financial assistance is claimed with ease, the PMFBY claim process is straightforward and hassle-free. Read on to learn about the specifics of the claim procedure.
Losses/Damages to Claim Under PMFBY
The PMFBY scheme covers food crops (cereals, millets, and pulses), oilseeds, perennial, and horticultural crops from the following risks:
Prevented sowing or planting
In case the majority of insured crops of a notified area are prevented from planting or sowing due to deficit rainfall or climatic imbalance, farmers can claim coverage for the financial losses under PMFBY. Depending on the extent of loss, the eligible compensation is up to 25% of the sum insured.
Yield losses to standing crops
The comprehensive coverage in PMFBY addresses yield losses affecting the crops in their mature stage, typically rooted in the soil. Such standing crops are covered against non-preventable risks like storms, droughts, floods, cyclones, inundations, earthquakes, and so on. These losses are covered on an area-based approach, notified while registering for the scheme.
Coverage for post-harvest losses on an individual farm basis is available for a maximum duration of 14 days from harvesting. Post-harvest crops covered are those kept in ‘cut & spread’ condition in a specified area of the field after harvesting. The coverage is against specific perils like cyclone, unseasonal rains, and hailstorms.
Some risks are identifiable based on the localised condition where the crop is being harvested. Examples of such localised risks include landslide, flood, inundation, cloud burst, hailstorm, etc., that affect solitary farms in the notified area. Such calamities are covered under the PMFBY scheme.
Add-on coverage for losses due to attack by wild animals
If the risk is perceived substantial and identifiable, the State Governments may consider providing an add-on coverage for crop loss due to attack by wild animals. The Government of India in consultation with the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) will prepare the protocol and procedure to evaluate the bids for the add-on cover.
Following perils are excluded from the basic PMFBY coverage:
War, riots, nuclear risks, malicious damage, grazed and/or destroyed by wild or domestic animals, theft, act of enmity. In case of post-harvest losses, the PMFBY claim process is approved only for non-preventable losses within the notified area. Also, losses of harvested crops bundled and stacked at a place before thrashing is not considered for coverage.
Step-by-Step Guide to the PMFBY Claim Process
The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana claim process involves the following steps:
Intimation of loss
In case of crop loss or damage, farmers must immediately notify the concerned authorities, such as the nearest Agriculture Department Office or the insurance company's representative. Farmers should provide details regarding their policy, crop, extent of damage, and the cause of loss. It is important to intimate within the specified time frame to ensure a smooth claim settlement process.
Submission of documents
To support the information provided during the initial intimation, farmers are required to submit a duly filled intimation form with documentary evidence. If information for all the columns is not readily available, semi-filled is acceptable by the insurance company. A period of seven days after the loss occurrence is granted to gather and submit the complete details. Besides, farmers are required to preserve damaged or defective parts and make them available for inspection during claim assessment.
Crop Cutting Experiments (CCE)
To assess the actual crop yield and determine the extent of loss, Crop Cutting Experiments (CCE) are conducted by designated agencies. These experiments involve randomly selecting sample fields and recording the crop yield. The results obtained from CCEs play a crucial role in determining the compensation amount for the affected farmers under the PMFBY claim process.
Loss assessment procedure
The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare shall empanel evaluators to assess the losses and approve the claim request. The assessor/evaluator chosen is an agency with relevant field experience, financial strength, infrastructural facilities, and skilled manpower. The designated assessor will complete the assessment within stipulated timelines and finalise the assessment report to settle the claim.
Settlement of claim
Based on the CCE findings, the claim amount is calculated using predetermined parameters such as crop yield, threshold yield, and sum insured. The claim settlement is done in the following manner:
- In case of bank coverage:
The amount of the claim is released to individual correspondent banks. The banks at the ground level, in turn, display the particulars of beneficiaries on their notice board and credit the accounts of the individual farmers. The banks have to provide individual farmer-wise claim credit details to the Insurance Agency (IA) and the information is incorporated into the centralised data repository.
- In case of coverage offered by other insurance intermediaries:
The claim amount is directly deposited to the individual insured bank account through an electronic mode.
In the event of any discrepancies or dissatisfaction, farmers can approach the designated grievance redressal cell or the Agriculture Department Office for resolution on the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana claim process.
On-Account Payment of Claims Due To Mid-Season Adversity
In difficult seasonal conditions like prolonged dry spells, severe drought, floods, unseasonal rains, the insurance agency makes on-account payment of claims. The process is carried out in consultation with the concerned State Government/UT based on satellite imagery, meteorological data, or any other substitute indicator. Only 25% of likely claims will be addressed this way. Besides, such claim settlement is executed only in those notified areas or districts where such indicators are measurable. Another condition applies to the expected yield during the season, which must likely be less than 50% of the normal yield.
Tips for a Smooth Claim Process Under PMFBY
For a hassle-free PMFBY claim process, farmers should adhere to the following guidelines:
Farmers should promptly intimate the authorities about crop loss or damage, providing accurate information to initiate the claim process effectively. Delay in intimation may lead to complications and issues with processing the claim request.
Maintaining proper documentation, such as policy papers, receipts, and photographs of crop damage, is crucial for the claim process. These documents act as evidence and support the claim evaluation and accelerate the claim process under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
Cooperation during CCE
Farmers should cooperate with the designated agencies during the CCEs. Assisting them in conducting accurate assessments ensures quick and fair compensation for the crop losses suffered without any hindrance.
Keep track of regular updates
Staying informed about the scheme's provisions, updates, and notifications is essential. Farmers can keep track of any changes through official government websites, local agricultural offices, or insurance company representatives.
Make Claims Easily to Cover Financial Losses with Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
The PMFBY plays an important role in safeguarding the interests of farmers by providing financial support in times of crop failure or damage. With the simplified and transparent claim process under PMFBY, the scheme ensures timely compensation. By following the guidelines and actively participating in the claim process, farmers can make the most of this agricultural insurance scheme. With the assistance of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, farmers can also focus their financial investment in adopting modern and innovative agricultural practices.Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.