19 March, 2018, 12:00 am
A LEADING insurance provider in Fiji is intending to design a comprehensive micro insurance cover specifically for dairy farmers’ livestock to mitigate the associated risks.
FijiCare Insurance Ltd managing director Peter McPherson said they would be negotiating this soon after it launched a bundled micro insurance scheme last week with the Fiji Co-operative Dairy Company Limited (FCDCL) and UNCDF’s Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP).
The bundled micro insurance product — which has a combined cover limit of $10,000 per insured farmer for a cost, or premium of FJ $52 per year ($1 a week) — covers incidents such as personal accident, fire, funeral and term life.
FCDCL is the third entity that FijiCare has provided microinsurance cover to. Last year it provided insurance for 12,500 sugarcane farmers and is expected to be providing cover to copra and rice farmers very soon.
While the scheme may reduce risks of doing business for the insured dairy farmer, it does not cover at this stage its valuable asset – livestock.
Mr McPherson said they were still trying to find a way to do this, a cover which would unique and also affordable.
“In actual fact we are negotiating over the next week or so, we might be able to do some cattle for the cows itself insured, that’s going to be the new side of the dairy co-op,” he said.
“That’s going to be exclusive, not done anywhere else in the region, which is to insure the dairy cattle themselves.”
Animal death is among the major risks for cattle and livestock owners, particularly in drought-prone areas where water and fodder shortages are a major threat.
According to a report, “Protecting the poor A Microinsurance Compendium Volume 2”, co-published by the International Labour Organisation and the Munich Re Foundation, technological improvements and growing demand offer hope for “commercially viable and welfare enhancing livestock insurance.
It found that there were only a few livestock insurance schemes in developing countries with livestock mortality due to starvation and disease as the most common type of insurance.
The report also noted that the potential for livestock insurance was huge but market penetration remained very low, suggesting that livestock insurance is either too expensive or not meeting clients’ needs.
An earlier study done by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also highlighted opportunities to further develop the insurance industry in Fiji, in particular the microinsurance sector.
Micro-insurance is different from other insurance in that it is designed specifically for low income groups and therefore the costs of the insurance are lower and the insured is a large group or communities rather than individuals.
Meanwhile, Mr McPherson said they hope to raise awareness on this basic micro insurance cover across industries such as agriculture and tourism, including market vendors.
This, he said, as long as were part of or formed a group or cooperative.