The fresh approach to Rural Insurance - Rural Affinity

2015 is drawing to a close and it’s been a roller coaster ride for those of us involved in rural and agricultural insurance.  After a series of seasons which saw low storm and loss activity in general, mother nature showed her nasty side in 2015.

Severe storms struck northern NSW in late March, severely impacting cotton crops and farm infrastructure in general.  A similar event occurred across southern QLD and northern NSW in late August, occasioning severe losses to winter crops and farm property.  Further severe hail storms occurred between 17 October and mid November, first near Lake Grace and then followed by Southern Cross, southern Queensland, northern NSW and southern NSW.

Unfortunately the winter crop season has also seen two major fires, the first near Scaddan and Salmon Gums in WA which was shortly followed by a major fire near Gawler SA.  The scale of these crop fires is unprecedented and losses will be very large.  Tragically these fires both saw loss of life and our thoughts and condolences are with the families and friends of those affected.

Multi peril crop insurance (MPCI) has been front of mind for many people in the agricultural and insurance sectors in 2015.  The federal government’s agricultural white paper released during the year announced an intention to provide almost a $30 million subsidy for MPCI. This is an exciting and challenging area for insurers and  Rural Affinity is undertaking a feasibility study including a small number of farmers to determine if there is an opportunity for successful product development in the Australian context.

In early 2015 Rural Affinity became involved with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). During the year Alexandra Gartmann moved on from her role as CEO for FRRR and Natalie Egleton has been appointed as her replacement.  We would like to take the opportunity to wish Alexandra all the best  and congratulate Natalie on her new position.  We look forward to continuing our involvement with FRRR into the future.