FMG news

FMG Insurance – Everything you need to know

  • Thirty offices
  • $12.1 million profit after tax
  • $283 million gross written premium
  • HQ – Palmerston North

Statistics above correct as of 2017/2018 annual report.

In a country where agriculture is the largest sector of its tradable economy, rural insurance in New Zealand forms a vital suite of products for many businesses.

FMG Insurance has been part of New Zealand’s rural sector for over 100 years, with the current company being established in 1978 through a merger of the Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Association, Taranaki Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Association and Primary Industries Insurance Company Limited. It is a mutual insurance company, and was incorporated under the Farmers’ Mutual Group Act of 2007.

History
FMG was set up to provide rural New Zealanders with protection for their farms, families and livelihoods at a time when their insurance options were fairly limited.

“In the early 1900s, farmers didn’t have much choice when it came to insurance cover,” FMG explains on its website. “The only option was English owned tariff companies who didn’t understand the risks and challenges faced by rural New Zealanders – they also charged like wounded bulls and sent profits offshore.

“In true pioneering style, a group of farmers got together to challenge the status quo and in 1905 the first Farmers Mutual Associations were formed in Otago, Wellington, Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay.”

Other mutual companies offering rural insurance soon began setting up operations all over the country, bringing rural insurance to the forefront as a key insurance product. These mutuals began to combine throughout the 70s, and, in 1978, FMG as it is known today was established in Palmerston North.

FMG is currently 100% New Zealand owned and operated, with all of its profits going directly back into its business.

Product offering
FMG Insurance offers a range of comprehensive product suites across a vast array of rural businesses. Its key products include the following:

Farmers and growers insurance

This narrows down into sheep and beef, dairy and arable crop cover, which can protect assets including farm contents, buildings, vehicles and livestock. It can also cover legal liability for accidental loss or injury to other property or persons, and offers specialised cover for farm dogs and forestry plantations.

Home cover is also available under this product suite, protecting rural dwellings including garages, sheds, fences and driveways.

Personal/residential/lifestyle
This incorporates a mix of rural and urban insurance cover, and is geared towards personal needs. Cover options include home and contents, vehicle cover, and cover for any risks specific to rural living. It also includes options for personal boat insurance, along with equine insurance for equestrian, sport and breeding horses.

Commercial
This is tailored specifically towards rural businesses, and includes insurance plans for agricultural dealers and contractors, food and accommodation businesses, animal services and wineries.

It offers all the standard covers that any operating business needs – business interruption, professional indemnity, management liability, etc., along with cover specially tailored to the specific risks of various rural businesses.

Life and personal
This offers cover for injury, disablement and death, with risk plans underwritten by Fidelity Life, Sovereign Assurance, AMP and Southern Cross.

Cover options include protection for short or medium-term disablement or illness, which focuses on funding bills and keeping the business running throughout the policyholder’s recovery; long-term or permanent disablement or illness, which can include lump sums or monthly benefits to fund labour replacement; and death, which usually offers a lump sum to the family to ease financial pressures in the event of the policyholder’s death.

Community presence
FMG has a strong presence in the rural community, and is part of a number of agricultural scholarships and national events.

The FMG Agriculture Scholarship offers grants to promising agriculture students starting their first year of university, and provides $5,000 towards livings costs, plus the same amount towards course fees for up to a maximum of three years.

Farmstrong is a joint initiative between FMG and the Mental Health Foundation (MHF), and also has funding from the ACC. It allows farmers to access tools and information around nutrition, fatigue, exercise and stress management, and also connects farmers and allows them to collectively share their experiences.

FMG also sponsors a number of industry events including rural sector conferences, shows and school days, along with the FMG Stadium Waikato – a rugby stadium situated in the heart of New Zealand’s dairy producing country.