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Industry compiling farm protection uptake data

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About 299,500 farm insurance policies have been placed out for a sum insured value of $153 billion and 143,500 crop covers for $5.6 billion, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

ICA is compiling the data to determine the extent of insurance cover purchased by primary producers.

ICA believes the figures may not reveal the full picture as some farmers have arranged for cover with overseas underwriters.

“Importantly, this data doesn’t tell the full story with crops about what loss events are excluded, for example drought,” Operations Manager Risk and Disaster Clare Cordingley says in a LinkedIn post.

Collecting the data is part of the five-point plan the ICA developed last year to address the low take-up of multi-peril crop insurance (MPCI) in Australia.

The plan was presented at the National Drought Summit to help farmers deal with the long dry spell.

“ICA is continuing to work with relevant government departments to achieve a higher uptake of multi-peril crop insurance across Australia,” the council says in a statement to insuranceNEWS.com.au.

A report this year by farmer’ peak body GrainGrowers says the MPCI market is “effectively non-existent”.

Latevo Farmers Mutual founding director Andrew Trotter says ICA and insurers should just accept there is “100% complete market failure” in MPCI.

“That is why we transitioned our model to a mutual right because there won’t be any Australian insurers that want to do it,” Mr Trotter told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“Insurers are only interested, and rightfully so, in making money. It has to be called out for what it is. That’s why we did it.

“We have built the mutual just like grain pools. If the mutual does not have enough money, because all our members sign up on multi-year, they then get made up the shortfalls in future years. So, it is a very sound process.”