​Media release

Insurance should your harvest come a cropper

16 March 2017

  • Farmers can apply for a rebate of up to $2500 under the Managing Farm Risk Programme, to assist in applying for a new insurance policy, such as multi-peril
  • It is a straightforward process and can be completed online or by post
  • The programme will operate until 30 June 2019

Farmers looking to better financially protect themselves and their families through tough times are encouraged to apply for a rebate up to $2,500 to help cover the cost of taking on a new agricultural insurance policy, such as multi-peril.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the $20 million Managing Farm Risk Programme, an initiative of the $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, is open for applications and is a straightforward process that can be completed online.

“Farm businesses should consider applying for our rebate if they are interested in taking on a new insurance product to protect their incomes from droughts, floods, hail and other events beyond their control,” Minister Joyce said.

“The Managing Farm Risk Programme provides eligible farm businesses with one-off rebates for 50 per cent of the costs, up to a maximum of $2,500, of obtaining independent and professional advice to apply for a new insurance policy.

“Farmers have been saying for years they have wanted access to multi-peril crop insurance products and the Coalition Government is proud to be delivering an environment which encourages private insurers to invest in and make these products available.

“This grant is a means of helping farmers get all the facts together to make a considered decision around whether it is worth insuring their farm from perils, such as drought, frost, hail and fire.”

Minister Joyce said farmers knew better than most that the Australian climate was as variable and as unpredictable as they came. 

“In the past few months alone we’ve seen farmers hit by floods in Western Australia, fires in New South Wales, hail in South Australia and north western Victoria, while drought continues to impact farmers across large parts of Queensland,” Minister Joyce said.

“Recent storm outbreaks across NSW and Queensland are a reminder of the risks farmers face, with Dubbo experiencing flash flooding after 69mm of rainfall in five hours on Monday, their heaviest March rain in 17 years.”

Minister Joyce said he was encouraging all farmers across the country to carefully consider their production risks and investigate their insurance options. 

“In ancient times, farmers would pray and make sacrifices to the gods as a means of petitioning against poor seasons, now we have access to a range of insurance products designed to help farmers recover from anything the weather can throw at them,” Minister Joyce said.

“While insurance may not be the silver bullet solution for all farm businesses, it has great potential to assist many farmers in safeguarding their business, providing a much needed sense of financial security. 

“Time is running out for this cycle, with applications for the majority of existing commercial multi-peril insurance products closing by late April each year, due to the growing season. I encourage all interested farmers to go to www.agriculture.gov.au/mfrp to apply.”

For more information please email mfrp@agriculture.gov.au or phone 1800 837 857.

Apply online at www.agriculture.gov.au/mfrp

Application forms and supporting documents can also be posted to:

Managing Farm Risk Programme
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources             
GPO Box 858 

Jim Maitland, Clare, South Australia
“While I didn’t make a claim through the policy, it allowed us to plant a higher percentage of pulse crops which fell outside our regular drought strategy with the inability to capture biomass as hay instead of grain.

“It enabled us to grab the bull by the horns and take more risks on higher value crops than traditional cereals, knowing the policy was there and we wouldn’t lose millions in the event we get wiped out by a catastrophic drought.” 

John Simpson, Wudinna, South Australia
“The rebate process was quite simple, as it should be.

“We accessed the grant and took insurance last year.

“We didn’t make a claim, as we had a better than average season. It was about 20 per cent less than the best season, which was last year.

“But that’s the nature of insurance, you’re protecting yourself from a bad year.

“Multi-peril insurance is dear, but so are most income protection products. It meant we didn’t need to take crop insurance last year, as we were advised we should only take it in combination with multi-peril in a good year.

Grain producer, South-Central Queensland
“Applying for the rebate itself was a relatively straightforward process. It was an incentive to look at taking up insurance. The insurance application itself was a more complicated procedure.

“We took up insurance, to give us some peace of mind and a bit of a safety net.

“At one stage it looked like we may need to make a claim, but the season finished well.”

Fast facts
  • The $20 million Managing Farm Risk Programme opened on 29 March 2016 and will operate until 30 June 2019.
  • Applications can be lodged at any time throughout the year, however they must be submitted within 12 months of the first claimed costs being incurred.