Coping with Shocks: Impact of Insurance Payouts on Small-Scale Farmers

S. Dietrich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Weather insurance is regarded as a powerful tool to protect small-scale farmers from the economic impacts of natural disasters. In cases in which insured farmers suffer a loss, insurance payouts mitigate the financial consequences that otherwise could have forced them to apply disruptive coping strategies. This paper analyses the effects of payouts of yield insurance in Colombia on small-scale tobacco farmers. Two questions are raised: were the payouts made consistently after shocks and how did the payouts affect the ex post coping strategies of the beneficiaries? The data indicate a significant overlap in household losses between insured farmers who did and those who did not receive payouts, even though the insurance indemnified the main risks of the main income sources. Exploring the overlap to match the farmers of the two groups, it is suggested that the beneficiaries were better equipped to protect their resources, including assets and savings, after shocks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-369
Number of pages22
JournalGeneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

JEL classifications

  • g22 - "Insurance; Insurance Companies"
  • q12 - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets


  • coping strategies
  • insurance
  • natural disasters
  • risk management
  • Colombia

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