Micro-insurance through corporate-NGO partnerships in West Bengal: opportunities and constraints

This Practical Note examines the nascent micro-insurance sector in West Bengal, paying particular attention to the corporate–NGO partnership model for micro-insurance distribution, which has been enabled by India’s unique regulatory framework. We challenge the popular construction of this model as a ‘win–win’ for all parties by analysing conflicting understandings of micro-insurance schemes and their purposes by insurance companies, NGOs, and poor villagers. The article also considers the role of the specific political context of West Bengal in constricting corporate–NGO micro-insurance.