MPCI rebate scheme’s struggles continue

Poor promotion blamed for the poor uptake of agricultural insurance

MPCI rebate scheme’s struggles continue

Insurance News

By Mina Martin

The Australian Government’s crop insurance rebate scheme continues to suffer poor uptake more than a year after it was launched.

From the $20.2 million allocated to the program over four years, only $107,000 in rebates have been taken up.

Since its launch in March last year, the scheme has received 60 applications for the one-off rebates nationwide, 48 of which have been approved, and nine of which are still in progress, with the remaining three declined, The Weekly Times reported.

Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said the lack of take-up was due to insufficient promotion to farmers by the industry and agricultural consultants.

“For decades the farming sector has called for support to bring multi-peril crop insurance options to market and this Government has acted to assist,” a spokeswoman for the minister told the publication. “Over the past two years, industry leaders and farm consultants have not been visible in encouraging farmers to take full advantage of the support this Government has put on the table.”

It’s understood that the scheme will be reviewed by the Department of Agriculture this year.

At a Senate hearing last week, department secretary Daryl Quinlivan tagged the program as “something of a policy experiment,” the report said.

“The objective of that program was to try and stimulate a private program in multi-peril insurance... but I think we’re getting towards the point where we’re not able to stimulate the development of that market,” he said.

Joyce’s spokeswoman said the Government was in talks with the farming and insurance sectors on how to increase uptake of agricultural insurance.

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