From humble beginnings in the Netherlands to specialist rural insurer in Australia

Achmea horticulture specialist Louis Vrieze spoke about Achmea Australia’s heritage in the Netherlands, establishment in Australia less than five years ago and its continuing commitment to keep farmers farming in a recent article published in the Autumn 2018 edition of Soilless Australia.

‘The story of Achmea is very simple,’ Louis says. ‘It started 200 years ago in a tiny place in the north of the Netherlands, where farmers experienced fires which burnt down their farms.

“Not being able to afford to rebuild, they put five cents a month in a glass jar and shared the risk together. When a farmer experienced a loss, they were compensated by each other’s money from the jar, helping him rebuild.”

The ethos of the glass jar was extended to Australian farmers by the establishment of Achmea Australia in 2014.

The Achmea Australia difference

Today, our difference focuses on understanding why growers are in business and determining their real needs.

“Every grower has a different story, and a different focus – and through our on-farm approach we can get a much clearer picture of their business and how we can help,” he said.

The cost of risk

Achmea Australia helps its protecting cropping clients identify, reduce, prevent and manage risk, and to accurately determine the level of cover needed, we look at the real costs of these risks eventuating.

“While many growers may believe they have the right level of insurance cover in place, the true cost of an event occurring can be much higher than originally anticipated,” said Louis.

Pre-construction consulting

It’s important to consult your insurance specialist at the planning and build stage to think about your insurance options.

We’re fully aware of the latest glasshouse technologies, building methods and construction materials and this knowledge and guidance ensures our clients understand the importance of risk mitigation as early as during their glasshouse construction phase.

Reputation – we’re here to help

‘At Achmea, we’re here to help. We’re all about supporting each grower to manage risks, so they become more resilient, and can keep growing, even after a major event.

Business interruption cover

“We’re looking forward to Achmea Australia’s future here in Australia and our unique approach in focusing on reducing risks rather than just insuring against them means we’re quickly gaining traction in the Australian market,” said Louis.

“Achmea Australia is unique to the market due to its ability to minimise the effects of business interruption due to damage, by providing cover designed to keep a business going.

“Our cover enables growers to continue receiving the same income as if the business was operating, as well as the ability to cover costs during the period of interruption – whether they’re existing fixed costs such as staff wages and loan repayments, or other costs resulting from the interruption.”

By Raquel Neofit, Eat Fresh PCA Editor

The full article was published in Soilless Australia Autumn 2018 edition by Protected Cropping Australia Ltd.