“The general insurance, oil & gas, and agriculture industries confirm that general insurance policies for farm risk continue to remain available, through various insurers, to farmers who host natural gas activities.”
That was the assertion made by the Insurance Council of Australia, Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), National Farmers Federation (NFF), Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF), AgForce, and Cotton Australia in a joint statement.
In June it was reported that IAG brands WFI and CGU would not be providing public liability coverage to farmers whose properties have coal seam gas operations or infrastructure. You can read about it here.
Now the relevant industries have clarified how farmers are afforded protection, while highlighting the importance of working together on the matter.
“Every farmer’s situation is different, so it is appropriate for individuals to discuss with their insurance agents/brokers their circumstances regarding liability insurance cover,” the groups said in their statement.
“However, public liability insurance offered to farmers is designed and priced to cover farm risk only, and therefore may not cover losses associated with third-party infrastructure including infrastructure and activities associated with natural gas production.”
They said farmers hosting natural gas activities are protected by indemnities offered by gas companies as part of land access agreements, and are further safeguarded by what was described as “extensive” regulation and legislation.
The joint statement went on to read: “It is important that all parties – gas companies, insurers, and farmers – have a common understanding of the combined effect of insurance, legislative protections, and indemnities.
“The Insurance Council, APPEA, NFF, QFF, AgForce, and Cotton Australia are therefore working together with the shared objectives of ensuring there is a common understanding, and providing assurance to farmers who host gas activities that they are, and will continue to be, appropriately protected against loss.”
Moving forward, stakeholders are hoping for the inclusion of a common indemnity provision in all land access agreements and a common public liability position in farm insurance policies.