Australia's regional insurance brokers do a lot more than simply help farmers find the right crop insurance policies for their needs. Brokers are also in a position to have broader conversations with farmers. This could be about the risks they face, but also about their goals and aspirations – what they want to achieve with their farms and how they're going to achieve it.
Having this conversation about goal setting isn't always easy though. It requires rural insurance brokers to think laterally and look at the challenges farmers face, so they can help them find a package of insurance cover that matches their needs.
The many goals that Australia's farmers have
Having a conversation about goal setting doesn't have to be difficult, especially as it often starts with simply understanding the farmer, where they are in life and the obstacles they'll face as a result.
Take succession planning for example. Many of Australia's farmers will be looking to hand over the family farm to the next generation, and it's an area where many farmers struggle. The number of broadacre farms in the country dropped 13 per cent in the last five years, according to the grain and Research Development Agency, underscoring the potential perils that come with poor succession planning.
For farmers, succession planning has moved on a lot from simply passing the family farm to the oldest child. It's now a much more nuanced process about making the right choices for the property and the family.
Of course, succession isn't the only major change that farmers will be facing. Many farmers, particularly the younger generation, won't just be looking to preserve what they've got, they'll be looking to make big changes that can help them grow their operations.
In this case, it might be that the next five years will involve expanding and buying another neighbouring property to achieve greater economies of scale. Or it could mean moving to more intensive farming practices, with a greater reliance on greenhouses for example, to boost yields.
These changes in farm management will have a significant impact on the farm's cash flow and its long-term value and risk profile. This is why it's so important for brokers to be having conversations about farmers' goals, so they know what their plans are for the future and can ensure their policies are providing enough cover for their expanding operations and changing asset profile.
What can insurance brokers do?
Once insurance brokers have started this conversation about what the goals are that their clients have, they can begin to look at what package of policies are right for them now, and how those needs are going to change in the future.
If farmers are simply looking to protect their assets, it might be worth talking about a more comprehensive level of insurance cover.
At face value, many farmers might not need greenhouse insurance, for example. However, if their core goal for the next five years is to expand their operations and install a greenhouse, suddenly it becomes more valuable to have that conversation.
Likewise, if farmers are simply looking to protect their assets and maybe sell in a few years or hand the farm over to the next generation, it might be worth talking about a more comprehensive level of insurance cover. This can ensure that, no matter what challenge farmers face, they can be sure the business will be covered for losses and has the means to get back up and running again if the worst happens.
To find out more about what policies might be right for the farmers you work with, get in touch with the experts at Primacy Underwriting. Our team of experts can help to ensure your clients get the right products for their needs.