To become a good crop insurance broker, you need to know how Australian farms operate and the type of products available so that you can ensure your farmers are adequately covered. You also need strong soft skills, like communication, as you’ll need to work with farmers to get the most information possible about their current practices and the type of cover they need.
Let’s take a more detailed look at what knowledge and skills are necessary for a crop insurance broker.
Learning the basics of crop insurance
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Crop insurance policies cover specific types of crops and risks, so farmers need a product suited to their individual circumstances.
Farm insurance is often categorised according to the type of crop. Common policy types include:
- Broadacre crop insurance: Broadacre describes crops such as grains, wheat and barley as well as oilseeds. Insurance often covers winter and summer produce.
- Horticulture and viticulture insurance: This type of insurance protects those growing vegetables, fruits and nuts from the most common risks they face.
There are also policies for cotton growers, forest owners and those who grow in greenhouses specifically. Finding out as much as you can about your clients’ farming practices, such as indoor growing, is crucial to ensure the right level of protection.
A common problem for farmers is chemical overspray from nearby farms.
Beyond the crop type and the climate-related perils associated, you’ll also have to uncover additional localised risks. A common problem for farmers is chemical overspray from nearby farms, carried on the wind and not necessarily suitable for their crops. If there are other farmers nearby, livestock intrusion is also a risk, which can be hugely detrimental to certain crops or to existing risk management processes.
Finally, you’ll be responsible for determining your clients’ likely yield based on previous performance, current market rates, area covered and predictive modelling techniques. Ascertaining this information requires knowing the right questions to ask and understanding what tools clients are using. Be aware you may have to visit remote farms to find this out.
Becoming a crop insurance broker
In addition to farming and product knowledge, you’ll need the skills to work with farmers from all walks of life and products that compete. Here’s what else you need in order to succeed as a crop insurance broker.
- People skills: As a broker, you need to relate to farmers, build a relationship and persuade them to trust your advice. You’ll also be liaising with your underwriter and possibly other brokers too.
- Communication: Being able to explain the complex details of insurance policies to farmers is an integral part of the role. Insurance is confusing for many people and you need to communicate the policy you recommend, and get the information you need.
- Software proficiency: You’ll be using software to ascertain the best product for your clients, submitting applications and claims online. Being comfortable with a range of IT solutions is important.
- Good products that really serve farmers: Australia is a vast country, and our farmers work with a huge number of crops with different climate considerations. The range of products you offer must enable you to protect farmers across the country from the risks they face.
Primacy Underwriting offers a wide range of crop insurance products to ensure Australia’s farmers are well-protected. We provide all of our brokers with access to our PATH online portal to ensure quotes are turned around quickly, and that you can keep track of progress and communicate with your clients. Take a look at our broker information today.