The greenhouse market in Australia is very specialised, in fact most general insurers will not insure glasshouse structures or crops – but AgriRisk has been working on a plan to change all that.
Unlike here in Australia, greenhouses are very common in Europe, particularly in Holland where they are extensively used for a variety of horticulture crops. Following Holland’s lead, where greenhouse technology is advanced, several large scale greenhouse structures have been built in Australia over the last 10 years, with some growing up to 20 hectares of tomatoes in a single location.
The size and accumulation risk of these structures creates issues for insurers because there can be tens of millions of dollars of glasshouse structure and crop in a very concentrated location. The local insurance market has little appetite for these large risks so the insurers seek reinsurance from the overseas markets, mostly in Europe. AgriRisk is working with several of these operations and is helping package together suitable insurance arrangements for both the growing plants and buildings with one of our leading local agricultural insurers.
Through AgriRisk, you can now get insurance cover for purpose built greenhouse structures such as glasshouses as well as rigid or flexible film-covered structures, along with other buildings such as packing sheds and cool rooms. Both growing stock and finished plant products can be insured on an agreed value or cost of production basis. All other greenhouse or nursery raw materials may also be covered.
According to AgriRisk’s Managing Director John van der Vegt, this is one of the most interesting parts of the business.
“We’ve really enjoyed visiting these high tech enterprises and it’s a great example of how AgriRisk will go the extra mile to find insurance cover for farmers, regardless of their situation,” Mr van der Vegt said.
“The technology and precision that goes into growing these plants is astounding. It is therefore critical that cover is arranged for failure or climate control systems as crops can get wiped out in a few hours if the air temperature fluctuates by a few degrees, he said”