Gono Grameen Bima

Twenty Five Years of Gono Grameen Bima

Delta Life first launched Micro-insurance product in 1988 through its Grameen Bima Project(GRB) to cater to the necessity of economic protection against premature death and of disability as well as providing a way for regular savings for the poor and low income group of people living in villages. Later it started another project in 1994, namely, Gono Bima(GNB) for the urban poor and the low income class. These projects are now merged under the name of Gono-Grameen Bima Project(GN-GRB). The initial problems apart, the project started to yield impressive results right from the beginning by creating great interest among the target population who could not even perceive an institutional arrangement through which the ever present problems of insecurity of life could be addressed. To suit the needs and pockets of the target people, and for efficient management of these portfolios, some of the age-old traditional concepts of carrying on life insurance business had to be diluted and in some cases replaced by simple and straightforward practices. Yet, the results are so encouraging that Delta Life is now regarded far and wide as the undisputed leader espousing the cause of welfare of teeming millions and its experiences are now used to advantage not only by indigenous companies but also other micro-savings organizations abroad.

Target Group and the Product

In GN-GRB the formalities are minimum. Insurance Cover is given under Group Insurance concept. A person interested in a policy submits a simple two-page proposal form; it is signed or thumb imprinted by him or her. There is no need for medical check-up. The person needs to be between 18 and 45 years of age, have a monthly income of Tk. 5,000.00 (US $100.00) or less, be of good health and supply a Declaration of Good Health (DGH) at the time of submitting the Proposal form. Death through pregnancy complications within the first year of the policy and death through suicide in the first year of the policy are not covered under an "exclusion clause". Simple endowment with profit policies are offered for 10 and 15 years term both with premium payment mode being weekly or monthly. Premium rate is the same irrespective of age at entry. Besides this plan, new plans like three-payment plan with 12 and 15 years term and double protection endowment plan have recently been introduced.

Policy Documents

Upon acceptance of the proposal, a pass book is issued to the policyholder detailing all terms and conditions of the policy. The pass book serves as the purpose of recording of all payments made by him towards the policy. There is one group policy document for the policyholders of each Thana or Block. For individual policyholders the passbook serves as policy document.

Micro Investment (Loan)

GN-GRB gives small project loans to its policyholders on a group liability basis. No collateral is required. There is 20% service charge on the loans, which is calculated at a flat rate and added to the principal amount. The loan, together with the service charge, is repayable in 12 equal monthly instalments. The repayments are collected from door to door by the organizers. Recently a decision has been taken to establish small collection booths in the villages. A person must be a policyholder and pay premiums for atleast one year before being eligible for a loan. The maximum loan given is Tk. 5,000.00 (US $100.00) per policyholder. The loans are for income generating activities (IGA) only. Policyholders form a committee of 5 to 7 members. 3 policyholders selected by the committee are given the first loan. After recovery of 3 instalments from each of the first three borrowers, the next 3 are given their loans and so on. As a general rule, 60% of the premium income of an area and 40% of the repaid loan of an area are available for loan in that area. Also 100% of premium collection of a committee is available for loan to that committee.