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Tough rural insurance market but farmers doing well

The market for farm insurance is obviously hardening and whilst there are a number of insurers and agencies offering cover, farm insurance is becoming more difficult to place as those insurers become more selective.

Information is the key here and many insurers are relying on data obtained from external sources to determine the extent of the risk. These analysts will provide a risk profile (at least for Fire, Flood and Storm) by using historical data, topographical analysis and climate data, among other things. It is then up to the insurer to determine if the risk is acceptable to them and what the price should be.

So where does that leave the insurance broker? In most cases, when it comes to location, it may be a “take or leave it” proposition (Insurer Data says No) or you may have to provide the insurer with more information about the risk.

No doubt, brokers are already experiencing frustration with insurers who require additional information that perhaps other insurers are not concerned about. Unfortunately, this will be the norm as insurers work out what is important to them.

What can assist brokers and their clients is a comprehensive understanding of the risk. This includes knowing the condition of buildings, homes and equipment, a confirmed claims history and any risk mitigation factors that might be specific to the risk.

Insurance brokers have to find out ever-increasingly comprehensive information from clients to “sell’’ the risk to the underwriter and then sell the terms to the client. It is a tough gig.

Whilst the market is tough, farmers across Australia have just come off their most successful year ever. ABARES says value of production to hit record $66 billion as farmers have their best year yet – ABC News


Hopefully, some of those new-found gains for farmers are wisely invested into maintenance, upgraded equipment and, in turn, this makes for a better risk. If brokers can demonstrate to clients that quality (well-maintained buildings, good claims history, well-structured insurance programme) translates to a well-priced and suitable product, then that has to be a win.

On the product side of things, Steadfast is making progress on agreeing on a “standard” wording that will fit their electronic platforms and which can then be accepted by underwriters. This takes some of the risk out of insurer transfers. We will continue to update you on any progress there.


Grant Brokenshire – 
Rural & Distribution Manager

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