Cattle Insurance: Coverage, Claim & Exclusions

Updated: 01-10-2019 12:50:08 PM

Cattle are considered one of the most valued possessions of the rural community. Marginal, small and medium farmers earn considerable portion of their income from cattle rearing. Since the livelihood of farmers depend so much on them, it becomes important to get cattle insurance for comprehensive coverage against cattle loss.  Cattle insurance is another endeavour of the Government of India to protect the agro-based economy of the country.

What is Cattle Insurance?

Cattle insurance protects Indian rural people from financial loss incurred due to the death of their cattle. The cost of cattle is high and their loss can force farmers to get into a debt cycle. With cattle insurance, farmers will get comprehensive protection against the cattle loss.

Types of Cattle Insurance

There are two types of risks which are insured under this policy:

  1. Death of cattle: It covers loss of life due to accident or injury and disease occurred due to surgical infection
  1. Permanent Disability cover: It covers the risk of permanent and complete disability

What Cattle Insurance Covers?

Besides death or disability caused by fire, road accidents, drowning, electrocution, snake bites or poisoning, cattle insurance offers coverage for other issues as well. They include:

  • Death due to natural calamities like storms and earthquakes
  • Death due to disease, infection or calving during surgical operations
  • Permanent disability, for milch cows this refers to incapacity to conceive and yield milk. For bulls, this refers to incapacity to breed

How Cattle Insurance Functions?

Cattle insurance is an important aspect for livestock management in rural area. Let us understand how this insurance works.

  • First step is to identify the cattle and determine the price of the cattle before finalizsng the sum assured. This assessment is jointly carried out by the beneficiary and an authorised veterinary doctor
  • Beneficiary needs to pay the premium amount on monthly or yearly basis, according to the policy
  • In case of death or disability of the cattle, the beneficiary immediately informs the bank about the mishap
  • All the required documents need to be submitted to the insurance company
  • Insurance company representative will validate all the documents and settle the claim

Eligibility Criteria 

Cattle Insurance Policy covers people who have:

  • Cows, bullocks or buffaloes of either sex
  • Cross-breed and exotic cattle owned by private owners, military dairy farms, co- operative dairies and corporate dairies
  • Both schemed and non-schemed animals fall under this policy Schemed animals refer to cattle subsidised under National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) and State Livestock Development Board (SLDB)

The policy seekers need to ensure that at the time of buying insurance, the cattle should not be injured or suffering from some disease. The health condition needs to be certified by a veterinary surgeon. Animals under the following age group are eligible for the insurance cover.

Animal Type Animal Age
Milch Cows 2 yrs/or age at 1st calving – 10 yrs
Milch Buffaloes 3 yrs/or age at 1st calving – 12 yrs
Stud Bulls 3 yrs – 8 yrs
Bullocks & Male Buffaloes 3 yrs – 12 yrs
Female Calves/ Heifers From age of 4 months – 2 yrs/ 1st calving age, whichever is lower
Milch Cow’s offspring From age of 4 months – 2 yrs/ 1st calving age, whichever is lower
Milch Buffaloes offspring Up to 3 yrs/1st calving age, whichever is lower

Documents Required for Claim Process

Following are the documents which should be submitted to get the claim amount:

  • Proposal form
  • Medical certificate from veterinary doctor
  • Minimum 4 photographs of the insured animal
  • Duly filled in claim form
  • Receipt of payment while purchasing the animal
  • Identification tag of the insured cattle

Claim Process

Following steps are followed to process cattle insurance claims:

  • The owner should immediately intimate the insurer about the death/injury on the 24*7 toll free customer care number of the provider
  • Get the death certificate or the certificate of disability from a veterinary practitioner
  • The beneficiary should also submit the duly filled in claim form along with the death/disability certificate
  • An authorised member from the insurance company will visit the site and verify the submitted details
  • If the claim is found to be genuine, the amount is paid to the beneficiary, else it is rejected


Though the cattle insurance aims to cover most of the rural Indians who have cattle, the claim is non-payable under the following circumstances. Some of these cases of exclusions are:

  • Theft or clandestine sale
  • Shipment via airways or sea
  • Terrorism, war, radioactivity and nuclear explosions
  • Neglect, over-loading and treatment under unskilled doctors
  • Using for other purpose than what has been mentioned in the claim proposal
  • Not treating when sick or not taking any initiative to prevent the death
  • Accidents or injury which occurred before the commencement of the policy
  • Slaughtering without permission from the veterinary or government official

Time Taken to Settle Claims

According to IRDA regulation, a cattle insurance needs to be settled by the insurer within 30 days of claim submission. If further investigation is needed, the bank can take maximum six months to settle the claim.

Companies offering Cattle Insurance in India

Some of the insurance companies offering this plan in India are:

  • HDFC Ergo
  • Reliance General
  • ICICI Lombard
  • Oriental Insurance
  • SBI General

Important Aspects 

Also known as livestock insurance, this policy is available for almost all cattle owners of rural India. However, before buying an insurance, the below mentioned facts must be kept in mind:

  • Cattle must be properly vaccinated and fed with nutritious food. If intentional carelessness is found as the cause of death or disability, the claim might get rejected
  • To get the claim approval, the bank must be intimated immediately after the mishap
  • Skilled and certified veterinary doctor should be engaged to treat the cattle; else the claim might get rejected

Advantages of Buying Cattle Insurance

Cattle insurance intends to benefit maximum number of people in rural India. The insurance policy provides coverage against the risks of death and permanent disability due to

  • Famines
  • Accidents
  • Earthquakes
  • Riots or strikes
  • Surgical operations
  • Fire, explosion, implosion and lightning
  • Aircraft damage or missile testing activities
  • Disease contracted and infection which was inflicted during the policy period
  • Natural calamities like storms, tornado, typhoons, hurricane, inundation and floods


Q1. What is the premium amount for the insurance?

Premium amount depends up on insurance company which varies from product to product.

Q2. What is the sum insured for Cattle Insurance?

The cattle will be insured as per its current market price. The animal breed, area and location also influence the sum assured. The sum does not exceed 100% of the market valuation.

Q3. What are the documents required to purchase Cattle Insurance?

A duly signed proposal form, health certificate of the cattle, payment receipt of the cattle purchase and photograph of the cattle.

Q4. What is the policy period of Cattle Insurance?

The minimum policy period is 1 year and the maximum can be 3 years.

Q5. Is the insurance valid on the sale of the cattle?

Yes, the cattle insurance can be transferred to the new cattle owner.

Q6. Can the beneficiary cancel a Cattle Insurance policy?

Yes, the Cattle Insurance can be cancelled within the below mentioned time span.

Cancellation Period Refund
Within 1 week of inception of cover 25% of premium
Beyond 1 week of inception but within 15 days 12.5% of premium
Beyond 15 days of inception of cover Nil