GrainGrowers has released an updated report that aims to inform farmers about the range of multi-peril crop insurance (MPCI) options available in the market, as well as the application process and associated costs.
The report, produced with technical support from Kondini Group, highlighted MPCI as one of various options that farmers could use to manage the risk of possible crop losses and reduced income streams caused by perils such as drought, frost, and pest damage.
“We are only asking that growers consider it [MPCI] as one tool of many which might suit their particular circumstances and requirements,” said GrainGrowers CEO David McKeon.
McKeon said the result of GrainGrowers members’ surveys about MPCI revealed that low uptake was partly due to lack of information and understanding of the available insurance policies and companies and the view of farmers on the cost of premiums.
The report also includes details about the federal government's MPCI rebate scheme.
"The Managing Farm Risk Programme was a key element of the government’s agriculture white paper, and while the programme has faced some challenges, we encourage farmers to consider whether they can benefit from the assistance available," McKeon said, adding that the group is still in talks with the government about “other options that better suit the needs of growers for managing their risk."
The organisation also called for governments to follow Victoria, South Australia, and NSW's lead in abolishing stamp duty, to make MPCI more accessible to farmers.
"On top of the cost of a policy, stamp duty can add further significant cost,” McKeon said. “While governments in Victoria, South Australia and NSW have removed stamp duty on MPCI policies, governments in Western Australia and Tasmania still charge 10%, while the Queensland government charges 9%. This equates to thousands of dollars on top of the cost of the actual insurance premium and our members say this is a major deterrent. GrainGrowers calls for the WA, Qld, and Tasmanian governments to follow the lead of other states and abolish stamp duty on MPCI products."