As a specialist farm insurer, we know the most important thing is to be there for you when you need us. Over the years Achmea farm insurance has supported farmers around Australia through the toughest times and our claims service has been a key driver for farmers to recommend us.
Just recently, Achmea’s excellence in claims service received a 5-star rating from LMI Claims Comparison, an acknowledgment of our unwavering commitment to work alongside farmers to help protect their livelihoods.
Achmea Claims Team Manager, Tomas Fenton, says our ultimate goal is to deliver the promise to our farmers to keep the farmer farming. “It’s really important to our clients that their business is affected as little as possible.”
This year also saw Achmea’s second consecutive nomination in the category of Direct General Insurance Company of the Year by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance, another reflection of the our success and growth in regional Australia.
In March 2017, tropical Cyclone Debbie hit near Airlie Beach as a category four event with wind gusts of up to 225 kilometers an hour, which caused widespread damage from Townsville in Queensland’s north, to Lismore in New South Wales. The insurance industry received nearly 74,000 claims and with insured losses amounting to more than $1.7 billion, Cyclone Debbie was one of Australia’s most expensive cyclones.
Cyclone Debbie impacted couple Susan and Andy Shay are behind a free-range poultry farm and switched to Achmea farm insurance several years ago. They supply 1.49 million chickens to the domestic meat market each year.
“We had been observing the water levels in the rivers and around our property from early afternoon. We were like “we think it’s going to be ok”, and it was almost in an instant that the water went from just being outside the clothes line to being above our knees,” Susan said. Karla Caldicott, Achmea Risk Specialist for farmers in South East Queensland, froze as she watched the news at 6 o’clock in the morning. “I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My precious clients and their farm,” Karla said. Susan said when finally, the water had gone down, everything was affected by the flood waters.
“The first thing that we did once we were back on dry ground hot a cup of coffee and a shower was to make contact with Achmea Australia,” she said. Karla said as soon as the water subsided, and we were able to get on farm after cyclone Debbie came down, we swung into action.
“The importance of knowing that your income is not going to suffer due to an event like this, is so important and it can’t be emphasised enough,” she said.
“Insurance is vital to the intensive farming industry whether it be poultry, piggeries, dairies. It’s a level of comfort that any farmer would appreciate – knowing that at the end of the day they can pay their bills and support their family without having that major impact on their bottom line.”
Tapping into Achmea’s international risk mitigation expertise, Susan said there had always been the discussions about risk mitigation and using knowledge from other parts of the world to make sure that they were safeguarding their livelihoods. “One of our Senior Risk Specialists from the Netherlands, Marco, joined me in the lead up visits. We identified with Susan and Andy that we needed external alarms and also visual alarms. And of course, to their credit, they went ahead and actually installed them which was great,” Karla said.
Putting clients first “Karla and her team have been in regular contact with us, making sure that all of our needs have been met along the way,” Susan said. “The contact from Achmea Australia and the assessors has been second to none.
“You know, that’s one of the things in these kind of events that is at the forefront of people’s mind is that ‘what will be the response of your insurance company’ and for us Achmea Australia have ticked all the boxes right from the beginning”.
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