From an insurers point of view, last broadacre season was one to forget, with unprecedented market competition, a massive chickpea crop, unprecedented fire levels and higher than normal hail activity.

What does that all mean to you, the client?  According to AgriRisk Managing Director John van der Vegt “on the plus side, a new insurer entering the market (Achmea) drove insurance rates down.”

“But as a consequence of the losses, we can only predict increasing pressure on premium rates, which won’t be fully understood until the market opens in mid June.  Our advice to chickpea growers is lock in cover early to avoid potential rises in premiums later in the season,” John said.

“As always AgriRisk will secure a range of quotes for clients to ensure pricing remains competitive.  If you are growing chickpeas there will be significant variability in the rates – we suggest you lock in the cover early because if insurers need to purchase additional reinsurance support this will generally come at a higher cost which will be passed on to you via a higher premium rate,” he said.

The 2015 broadacre season in summary:
•    Unprecedented competition – the market was very competitive with Achmea entering the market, driving insurance rates down.  
•    Massive Chickpea crop – with the market price up around $800/tonne the plantings went through the roof creating capacity issues for a number of insurers.
•    Two massive fire losses, one in WA the other in SA burnt through more than 200,000 ha and will cost the insurance industry approximately $100 million.  
•    High level of hail activity which will see industry losses at approximately $90m.