Storm season is now underway in Queensland, recently ushered in by destructive hailstorms across the south-east of the state. Despite many farmers sustaining significant damage, agricultural insurance remains an underdeveloped risk management tool. With Queensland the most disaster impacted state in Australia, farmers are looking to better understand, develop and adopt risk management strategies to manage uncertainty, spread risk and maintain business viability. However, there is work to do for the new Queensland Government to support initiatives for more affordable and relevant insurance products for the state’s farmers.
As eyes look to the skies ahead this storm season, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) continues to push for innovation and development in crop insurance options to fill those coverage gaps and better equip farmers for the vagaries of life on the land. Through the Queensland Government’s ‘Drought and Climate Adaptation Program’ QFF, the University of Southern Queensland and Willis Towers Watson are assessing and modelling parametric insurance options for farmers across the state. QFF is continuing to call on the state government to remove stamp duty on crop insurance to further support viable and affordable insurance options for farmers in the state and increase their uptake.
With climate projections suggesting more frequent and extreme weather events, preparation is key for farmers to alleviate or prevent damage to their properties and disruptions for their businesses. Farmers can access an innovative online course, developed through a QFF disaster resilience project, to create flood mitigation and resilience management plans for their own properties. With information specific to the horticulture and dairy, farmers can prepare for a flood, and mitigate damage to their properties and businesses.
In the meantime, QFF encourages farmers to identify any infrastructure at risk of storm damage, clear debris from drainage channels and gutters, have a written emergency plan, communicate your plans with staff, suppliers, customers and neighbours, ensure access to a backup generator in the event of a power outage and know your insurance cover for storm season. Planning ahead is critical for disaster resilience and will ensure Queensland’s farmers can focus on doing what they do best – producing world class food, fibre and foliage.