Insurance leader talks about tackling risk in the rural sector

Ian Yard-Smith

Ian Yard-Smith

TOUGH topics weren’t off limits at the Innovation Generation conference in Wagga and one of the issues brought to the table was insurance.

Insurance can be difficult to navigate, expensive, and time consuming. However, for many it is a necessity of running a business in the primary industries sector.

In recent times headlines about crops being wiped out due to frost have been aired as well as the murky ground of livestock insurance in instances of theft.

Achmea Australia chief operations officer, Ian Yard-Smith was on hand to talk to the audience of 150 or so people about navigating the world of insurance in the rural space. 

He talked about the value of multi-peril insurance and also encouraged people in agriculture to check what cover they have rather than “assume.”

“I am trying to encourage farmers to take better control of their insurance portfolios,” he said. 

“You can’t wash your hands of the insurance risks,” he said.

“The worst part of the job (for us) is denying claims, when we do that we get the feedback that they didn’t know,” he said.

That said, Mr Yard-Smith encouraged primary producers to negotiate tailored insurance packages. 

He told the Wagga gathering that farmers need to be more strategic about their insurance needs and to identify the biggest risks. 

“Insurance as a learning process that requires identification of the big business risks that actually need insuring, as opposed to those that can be mitigated by reviewing best practice management,” he said.