Farming Community Underinsured
The Insurance Council believes that government assistance, to farmers hit by the recent Wairarapa hailstorms and fires in the north of the South Island, is appropriate.
The Government has responded with Taskforce Green initiatives to help affected farmers. However, it is unlikely the Government will be able to deliver the sort of assistance some farmers believe they deserve.
Insurance Council Chief Executive Chris Ryan says many people in the farming community are either underinsured or not insured at all.
"Farmers must start to see insurance as a legitimate business expense, in the same way that fertiliser or maintaining farm machinery is seen as a normal business expense," he said.
"The farming community will never get the sort of assistance required from the Government or local community to get them back on their feet following any sort of natural disaster. It is simply not sustainable", he added.
The Insurance Council says the only way farming communities can guarantee to rebuild their business after a natural disaster is through adequate insurance.
"Our climate has become more volatile. Floods, hail storms and droughts are hitting the agricultural sector around the world, and weather forecasters predict this trend to continue", Chris Ryan said.
"Insurance Council members paid out over fifty million dollars during the latest floods in Queenstown. There is simply no way the Government, the local community or the regional councils can come up with that sort of money", he said.
"It is time for the farming community to take the same approach as many other businesses - insure for the unexpected and expect minimal assistance from others".