Should I buy insurance (Chichewa)

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Annette Hi sisters, Josephine, how has this dry weather been for your crops?

Josephine It has been very hard, we planted our maize already, and there has not been enough rain. We are worried the crops will suffer.

Myriam Have you thought about any insurance products?

Annette Yes, insurance helped my mother when my father passed away. It paid for much of the funeral. She got it through her mobile money provider.

Josephine Yes, I actually have been asking around about different insurance options, but I am still not sure if I think it's right for me.

Myriam What are the things that are giving you doubt?

Josephine Well, a premium is what I pay for the insurance right?

Myriam Yes, you have to pay the insurance company, sometimes it's monthly, other times it can be every few months or once a year.

Josephine Right, but that premium is not money I will ever get back right?

Myriam Usually you will not get money back if nothing bad happens to your crops and you haven't had to make a claim.

Josephine See that is the part I have an issue with, I am just giving them my money with no guarantee I will get anything in return.

Annette That is true, but have you thought about what this drought might cost you if crops don't grow? Would insurance help you in this case?

Josephine Yes, its true, we have many risks as farmers - with bad weather, pests... I understand that insurance can protect us against some of those things by providing money or seeds when I don't have any crops to take to market.

Myriam Do you know what benefits your premium payments get you? The life insurance policy I got through mobile money will give my family money for my funeral.

Josephine Yes, the options I have found usually insure either a small measurement of land or a bag of seed. Some insurance policies give you cash while others give you new seed and fertilizer to replant to try again.

Annette That sounds like a good idea, so what is stopping you?

Josephine The premiums can be pretty expensive. There is one insurance product I heard about called weather index insurance that is a little cheaper. They pay based on the rainfall and other weather factors. So if there is not enough rain, I get my premium back and more.

Myriam That sounds interesting. At the end of the day you have to make the calculation of whether you think paying the premium will be worth it. I hope it rains for your crops, but if it doesn't then having that insurance could help your family get money even if your maize doesn't grow. But if your problem turns out to be disease instead of drought, you may be frustrated when this "weather index insurance" does not cover your losses. Anyways, if you decide against buying an insurance product, savings is another strategy to prepare for possible problems.

Josephine Yes, these are all very good points, thank you for talking it through with me, my sisters. Now can we discuss something more entertaining, like Annette's funny hat?

Annette Hey, this is the new fashion!