Government announces farm insurance rebate

Farmers looking to better financially protect themselves and their families through tough times have been encouraged to apply for a rebate up to $2,500 to help cover the cost of taking on a new agricultural insurance policy, such as multi-peril.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce said: “Farm businesses should consider applying for our rebate if they are interested in taking on a new insurance product to protect their incomes from droughts, floods, hail and other events beyond their control”.

The $20 million Managing Farm Risk Programme, an initiative of the $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, is open for applications and is a straightforward process that can be completed online. The Programme opened on 29 March 2016 and will operate until 30 June 2019 and applications can be lodged at any time throughout the year, however they must be submitted within 12 months of the first claimed costs being incurred.

Joyce believes farmers know better than most that the Australian climate is as variable and as unpredictable as they came and while insurance may not be the silver bullet solution for all farm businesses, it has great potential to assist many farmers in safeguarding their business, providing a much needed sense of financial security.

“Farmers have been saying for years they have wanted access to multi-peril crop insurance products and the Coalition Government is proud to be delivering an environment which encourages private insurers to invest in and make these products available.

“This grant is a means of helping farmers get all the facts together to make a considered decision around whether it is worth insuring their farm from perils, such as drought, frost, hail and fire.”

John Simpson from Wudinna South Australia who accessed the grant and took insurance last year said: “The rebate process was quite simple, as it should be. Multi-peril insurance is dear, but so are most income protection products.”

Jim Maitland from Clare, South Australia said about the scheme, “While I didn’t make a claim through the policy, it allowed us to plant a higher percentage of pulse crops which fell outside our regular drought strategy with the inability to capture biomass as hay instead of grain.

“It enabled us to grab the bull by the horns and take more risks on higher value crops than traditional cereals, knowing the policy was there and we wouldn’t lose millions in the event we get wiped out by a catastrophic drought.”

Joyce is encouraging all farmers across the country to carefully consider their production risks and investigate their insurance options.