Unique insurance to cover farmers from crop yield loss

The insurance policy will compensate farmers for production shortfalls in the event of extreme weather
The insurance policy will compensate farmers for production shortfalls in the event of extreme weather

Unique crop insurance has been launched so farmers can protect themselves against poor yields triggered by extreme weather.

It will automatically trigger pay-outs to farmers if extreme weather causes yields in their region to fall below the historic average.

The policy is Britain’s first ever to insure shortfalls in cereal and oilseed rape crops.

Crop Shortfall Insurance has been launched from rural insurance specialists Lycetts and Farmers & Mercantile Insurance Brokers (FMIB).

“At a time when arable farmers are facing increasing market volatility, unpredictable weather patterns, along with uncertainty over post-Brexit subsidies, there is increasing demand for financial protection against burgeoning risks,” said Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn, of Lycetts.

The insurance policy can cover either a farms’ total crop output or individual crops, such as winter oilseed rape, winter wheat or winter and spring barley.

Underwritten with capacity rated AA by Fitch and Aa3 by Moody’s, the policy indemnifies farmers for up to a quarter of the shortfall of their projected crop production for the harvest year in question.

The index policy is based on Defra data, with a deductible of either 10 or 15 per cent of production.

The payout is calculated on the reduction in output volume, based on the fall in regional yield for the harvest year, relative to the regional yield over the last eight years.

Unlike traditional insurance, where insurers must survey the damage, it allows for a quicker, and more objective, claims settlement process.

Will Kendrick, of FMIB, added: “The feedback we’ve been receiving for some time from our agricultural client base is that sector volatility is having a seriously detrimental impact on long-term planning, investment and business sustainability.

“Crop Shortfall Insurance offers peace of mind, sitting at the heart of urgently called for risk management solutions to help mitigate the worst excesses of this volatile environment.”