The fresh approach to Rural Insurance - Rural Affinity

Business Updates

Crop loss Adjustment in Germany: As Rural Affinity is part owned by the Munich Reinsurance Group, we are able explore best practices in other insurance markets around the world. In July this year, Joachim Herbold from Munich Re Agro team in Munich, David Ward from Agri Business Consulting Group and Phillip Weir from Rural Affinity participated in a field trip to explore crop loss adjustment in Germany with the leading crop insurer, Vereinigte Hagel.

The aim of the trip was to examine the loss adjustment practices used in Germany and whether they could be applied to improve Australian loss adjustment. The group visited an area between Hannover and Berlin (Former East Germany) which provides conditions similar to Australia, with large farms predominately cropping. A recent hail event through the region provided a perfect scenario to assess crop damage with the loss adjuster’s from Vereinigte Hagel.

Assessors in Germany face similar issues to Australia in trying to quantify the level of damage in broadacre crops. Whilst the assessment methodology is comparable for late season losses between the two markets, Germany has taken a slightly different approach to calculating the gross loss percentage whereby they use objective loss scales for each crop type based on a combination of leaf, stem and damage to the grain heads (where applicable). Their loss scales are particular to Germany and have been developed over numerous years through an extensive program of field experiments funded by the crop insurers in this market.

We were also fortunate enough to participate in a trial of using a drone to take images of crop damage. Whilst the trial was in its initial stage, it highlights the development of new tools which will become more readily available in the future to assist loss adjusters to more accurately and efficiently quantify crop losses.