We have been lending a hand to farmers for over 200 years

More than two centuries ago Achmea began as a group of Dutch farmers supporting neighboring farmers. Their commitment to a mutual approach to farm insurance remains alive and well today.

It is our job to be there when you need us.

As a specialist insurer dedicated to farmers, we know the most important thing is to be there for you when you need us. Over the years we have supported farmers around Australia through the toughest times. We form strong bonds with the farmers we partner with and our business is built on those relationships.

These farmers have made the switch to Achmea. In our significant claims stories, our clients share what happened.

Dairy farmer – Paul Weir

I’m a fourth generation dairy farmer and I have been milking here on my current farm for about 25 years. In mid-2018 I discovered that one of my milk vats had ruptured. There was too much pressure in the vessel and the vat started to leak.


I certainly was surprised it was leaking, I had never experienced that before. It was such a unique claim, that model vat has a good reputation.  The real worry was a potential crack in the metal which may result in a contaminated milk due to bacteria. You may get a strain and because the milk is regularly tested, the milk may get rejected.

It was good to know I was covered.

Had I not taken out this cover, I would have had to take out a loan for another VAT, a considerable expense. Particularly with the pressures of the current drought, I was very relieved to have this covered.

What is different about Achmea’s approach to insurance is that I got better coverage across a wider range to cover that ‘once-in-a-life-time claim’, and with our higher excess it makes our premiums cheaper. Achmea certainly is more competitively priced compared to the opposition, whom I had been insured with for more than 20 years.

Through Rabobank, I had known [local Achmea Risk Specialist] Allan for several years. It’s a relationship I value, so I said ‘Allan, sure come over to the farm and give us a quote’.

Allan is a fair dinkum guy, you can trust what he says.

In conversations talking about insurance, I have always recommended Achmea and given Allan’s number, so they can see for themselves.

Most farmers choose to deal with people they find trustworthy, confident and you have that rapport with. Life and business are about relationships. It absolutely is your choice and I chose to do business with Allan Cowan.

You are always looking to cut costs. The last 12 months of my 25 years as a dairy farmer is the toughest it’s ever been. But even in drought, there’s some things you just can’t cut – insurance is one of them. Achmea is good value for money, and there have been too many natural disasters and you hear the horror stories you’re not insured.

In the end, it’s all about risk management and I’m not prepared to take on this kind of risk myself.

Proserpine (north Queensland) residents Sandra and John Faletti

Proserpine (north Queensland) residents Sandra and John Faletti reflect on Cyclone Debbie and how regular risk mitigation strategies and annual insurance updates saved them from financial hardship.

The Falettis, who own a sugarcane business, said that prior to 2014, they had not had anyone visit them on farm for more than a decade.

Achmea’s Senior Risk Specialist Alison Treston has worked with the Falettis since 2014.

The property has been in the family since 1924 and was run by John’s grandfather. He was born and raised on the farm, where he now lives with his wife. Their three sons are involved in the harvesting side of the business.

In March 2017, tropical Cyclone Debbie hit near Airlie Beach as a category four event with wind gusts of up to 225 kilometres 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 Australia’s second most expensive cyclone*.

John said they would not be in the position they are in today had they not taken the time to review their policy annually. Along with a substantial amount of crop damage, the Falettis lost their machinery shed and had water damage throughout their residence.

“Prior to undertaking annual reviews, our machinery shed was underinsured. This means there would have been a shortfall in the rebuild costs which would have affected us financially,” Mr Faletti said.

“Our shed was replaced very quickly which allowed us minimal down time to complete the maintenance on all our machinery prior to harvest,” Mr Faletti said.

It’s very important you are insured with the right type of insurance at the right Sums Insured.

Sandra said people tend to go for the cheapest insurance and think it will cover their needs, but when things go wrong it can be quite devastating to realise you haven’t accurately insured your assets.

“We were concerned about how we were going to complete the maintenance on our machinery, however the day after the cyclone had passed, we had an assessor and Achmea on our door step ready to assess the damage sustained,” she said.

“If the Sums Insured have not been updated for several years, they’re unlikely to reflect the accurate value, which means farmers may be underinsured. What people often don’t realise is that when a building is underinsured, in the event of a partial loss, they may run the risk of only receiving a portion of their Sum Insured,” Mrs Treston said.

Farmers can’t afford to underinsure their farm business

Having witnessed first-hand the widespread damage caused by Cyclone Debbie, and with a new cyclone season underway, Alison says now is the time to review and update your policy. Not only does underinsurance have potential negative impacts on individuals, their farming businesses, lifestyle and families, Alison said widespread underinsurance can significantly affect our economic resilience.

Underinsurance is a big risk. Put simply, a farmer is running the risk of not being able to rebuild their assets and keep farming,

Mrs Treston said.

 “Cyclone Debbie came very quickly and lasted for some 60 odd hours. We lost power on the Monday night and it wasn’t restored until seven days later, because of continued flooding,” she said.

“While in our area we endured yet another round of rain, wind and a serious electrical storm, I started to receive calls from devastated farmers in other areas, reporting widespread damages. Many expressed disbelief at what they had experienced and suffered.

“Cyclone Debbie made us realise how, as Risk Specialists, we are making a difference in the lives of farmers. Listening to them, understanding what they have been through and providing support – it goes way beyond insurance.”

Achmea has more than 200 years of experience managing farming risks in the Netherlands. Pairing this expertise this with local knowledge, Alison Treston partners with farmers to undertake Risk Reviews to discuss how their on-farm risks might be mitigated. 

*AON (2017) Annual Report Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight. Retrieved from http://thoughtleadership.aonbenfield.com/Documents/20180124-ab-if-annual-report-weather-climate-2017.pdf Page 17 and 48.