According to Statistics South Africa, the agricultural industry accounts for 6% of our country’s employment, and directly contributes 2,5% to the country’s GDP. The agricultural sector is fast becoming an even more important factor in our economy, which places farmers under constant pressure to produce more crops for families who do not have regular access to food.
Furthermore, South Africa has recently faced a bad drought, directly impacting farmers across the country. With these extreme weather conditions, brought on by global climate change, becoming the norm, comes the need for appropriate insurance to lessen the effects of hail, and other weather-related risks such as drought, frost and fire on agricultural businesses.
Why choose crop insurance?
As part of their agricultural risk management plan, farmers need to make sure that their crops are protected against unforeseen events. Crop insurance does exactly that – it covers crops against loss or damage due to hail, fire and lightning. Additional cover options are also available, depending on the crop type and the area. Cover is also included for harvested crops whilst in transit as a result of motor vehicle accidents for a specified period after harvesting and distance from the farm on the way to a point of delivery, which means that farmers are insured from farm to depot. Crop insurance, therefore, will provide peace of mind that the necessary cover is in place.
Does crop insurance cover all crops?
As with any insurance product, crop insurance has some exclusions. Some crops and regions will be excluded from cover as it is not a viable option for both the client (high cost) and the insurer (high risk). Crops that are covered vary from region to region and usually include all the main grain crops and fruit of the region.
Shortening the claims process
Technology has revolutionised the claims process for crop insurance. Assessors visit farms and can now digitally capture the claims data on their tablets, and then submit this information electronically to the claims department. This shortens the claims process and reduces errors in capturing claims, making the process easier, from claims submission to payout. – Philip du Preez, Old Mutual Insure