Much of the jewelry and crafts sold at a craft market in Ahmedabad, India, can’t handle the heat — and it’s costing the vendors, according to a Reuters report on the first-ever heat insurance offered to small businesses grappling with rising temperatures that are melting their crafts , turns items into unsaleable “junk”.
As the heat rises, the brass blackens and plastic beads become unglued, artisan Kamlaben Ashokbhai Patni told a reporter from a wooden stall in her village.
“The color of the jewel starts to fade as it gets hotter, making it worthless and like trash,” the 56-year-old mother of four said one day in late April as the temperature simmered around 100 degrees.
Patni is now among 21,000 self-employed people there who subscribe to what Reuters says is the world’s first extreme heat insurance product, launched this month by the nonprofit Arsht-Rock Foundation Resilience Center in partnership with microinsurance startup Blue Marble and a labor union.
If temperatures climb high enough above historical averages and stay there for three days, sellers like Patni get a small payout to help cope and offset lost income, according to the report.