insurance schemes) in developing countries is unpromising with relation to both financial sustainability and poverty reduction. Is it possible to do better? As part of the diversification of microfinance,
some new schemes aim to make progress by way of cost-covering premiums, poverty targeting and a range of defences against moral hazard of which the best known is restricting the insurance to climatic hazards
in lieu of a yield or income guarantee. We examine three of these schemes (BASIX Andhra Pradesh, India; CERUDEB Uganda; and the proposed WIA in Ethiopia) and, with respect to CERUDEB, describe the process
of premium setting, the results of sensitivity analyses and the determination of the optimal 'excess' or deductible. Serious impact analysis is premature, but the portents for filling a gap in the market
and reducing poverty without running losses look promising.