Tackling vulnerability through Index-Based Flood Insurance (IBFI)

IWMI has developed IBFI in order to support its water risks and disaster risk management solutions work; by determine flood depth, duration and extent to enhance agricultural resilience and reducing the risks of communities from recurrent floods, based on Earth observation data and flood modelling tools. Effective end-to-end solutions will be developed in collaboration with a range of organizations and experts from central and state government bodies, insurance industry, community-based organizations (CBOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Index-based flood insurance (IBFI) is an innovative approach to developing effective payout schemes for low-income, flood-prone communities. This project aims to integrate hi-tech modelling and satellite imagery with other data to predetermine flood thresholds, which could trigger speedy compensation payouts. Effective end-to-end solutions are being developed through a public-private partnership for scaling up and sustainability through invest in disaster risk resilience agenda. The project will cover India and Bangladesh, making it the first attempt to develop IBFI at a large scale.

• Proof-of-concept on IBFI coupled with the flood hazard model and remote sensing (RS) data for the pilot sites developed.

• Digital flood mapping tool to monitor and quantify the impact of floods on crops, and its application in insurance schemes.

• Design and pilot test a set of farmer-friendly flood insurance contracts for at least three districts with a considerable number of marginalized female farmers/poor people to ensure contracts are not gender-biased.

• Business Models and Economic analysis of IBFI is being developed 

• Obtaining feedback from government, insurance industry, community-based organizations (CBOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) through workshop and policy dialogue forum. 


IBFI is one such solution that is both cost-effective and can better target post-disaster relief. IBFI will boost public-private partnership to invest in the institutions and policies that will build community resilience in the face of the new climate reality. IBFI has the potential to be a part of a more wide-ranging and multi-faceted approach to make sure that flood-affected regions remain flood resilient in years to come. 


• Amarnath et al. (2017) Index-Based Flood Insurance (IBFI) for Mitigating Risks in Agriculture: Current Status, Challenges and Way Forward. IWMI Working Paper (In Review)

• Amarnath et al. (2017) Financing the floods. Geospatial Magazine. (In review)

• Amarnath, G., & Rajah, A. (2016). An evaluation of flood inundation mapping from MODIS and ALOS satellites for Pakistan. Geomatics, Natural Hazards and Risk, 1-12.

• Malik S. et al. (2017) Towards developing a business model for Index Based Flood Insurance (IBFI). IWMI Working Paper (In Review)