Vero partners with NZ startup to help reduce rural crime

Vero partners with NZ startup to help reduce rural crime | Insurance Business New Zealand

Vero partners with NZ startup to help reduce rural crime

General insurance company Vero has announced a collaboration with New Zealand startup Farmgate to help reduce instances of rural crime.

The partnership comes as Vero reported seeing an increase in rural theft since 2021, with Sonya Whitney, Vero executive manager for rural portfolios, calling the issue an ongoing problem in New Zealand.

According to Whitney, Vero has paid out $2 million in claims costs for theft and burglary losses against rural properties since the beginning of 2022. This is a 34% increase on 2021 claims numbers.

Collaborating with Farmgate puts the insurer in a “great position to help reduce rural crime,” she said.

Based in Hamilton, Farmgate has sought to reduce rural crime by helping Kiwi farmers secure their property through an access control system that utilises outdoor cameras, real-time licence plate identification and solar-powered barrier arms. The system also connects to the NZ Police stolen vehicle register, allowing farmers with the system to receive notifications about stolen vehicles in their area via a free app.

“We’ve estimated that up to 60% of rural crime incidents could occur in a stolen vehicle, usually through the front entrance of the property,” said Andrew Sing, Farmgate’s managing director. “This is what makes the Farmgate system so game-changing, as when a vehicle approaches the property, Farmgate can automatically verify the licence plate. Authorised vehicles (like milk tankers) are automatically admitted. Otherwise, the barrier arm drops to keep them out.”

Rural entrances have historically been open and unmonitored, Sing added, which left farms increasingly exposed to unwanted visitors.

As part of the collaboration, Vero will be hosting a Farmgate demonstration at the upcoming A&P show in Canterbury, where a $500 cash-back incentive will be offered to anyone who purchases a Farmgate product before the end of the year. Farmgate will also be offering a 25% discount for both existing and new Vero customers.

Additional details are available on the Farmgate website, farmgate.co.nz/vero.