GK Insurance launches weather protect policy for agriculture sectorWednesday, July 21, 2021
BY KELLARAY MILES
In a second attempt to provide crop and livestock insurance, GraceKennedy Insurance Company Limited (GKI), a member of the GK Group, yesterday launched a new policy, 'GK Weather Protect', which aims to provide farmers and fisherfolk with coverage from adverse weather conditions.
The GK Weather Protect is a parametric rain, drought and wind insurance policy developed for players in the local agriculture and fisheries industry.
“This unique policy is designed to ensure that the payout happens once the event meets the predefined trigger as set out in the policy. With this policy individuals are able to choose coverage and premium options that are in sync with their budget and needs,” said assistant general manager of GKI Jordan Tait at a virtually held launch event yesterday.
He said that as an upgrade to the company's Livelihood Protection Policy (LPP), launched under the 'Climate Risk Adaptation and Insurance in the Caribbean' programme back in 2013 when it operated as Jamaica International Insurance Company (JIIC), the new policy aims to fill previous gaps by making quicker and easier payouts, made directly to the bank accounts of registered farmers and fishers within seven days of an extreme weather event.
The initiative, which stems from a public-private sector, is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture and GKI which aims to offer affordable policies from as low as $5,700 per season for coverages running little over $100,000 to famers and fishers also dubbed 'food heroes'.
The product designed to provide coverage across dry and wet periods spanning two seasons — April-June then August-November — from which farmers have the option to purchase according to their risk demand or needs. Payouts can also be made multiple times up to the policy limit selected.
“The rain cover will payout for intense rain that has happened over a three-day period or for sustained rains over a 12-day period. Drought covers for weeks of [continuous dry conditions] and hurricane winds are covered up to anywhere within a 25 miles radius of the farmer's parish. Fisherfolk who may not be able to go out will also benefit from the product.
'We're confident that this product, the GK Weather Protect, is tailored specifically to protect our farmers against adverse weather events and we're excited about this product and to roll it out island wide,” Tait added.
Group CEO of GK Don Wehby lauded the product as a game changer that will allow for growth and robust development of the agriculture sector. He said that with renewed hope to cut the country's billion-dollar food import bill by half by 2030, this new policy will offer farmers with much-needed assistance as they build resilience to recover faster from disasters.
“Insurance for our farmers is an investment and not a cost and I'm pleased that this product from GKI is going to help with filling a gap in the agriculture sector as it provides more access to insurance for our farmers,” Wehby stated.
Minister of Agriculture Floyd Green, in welcoming the product, said it comes at the most convenient time and will significantly help farmers and fishers overtime to lessen the billions in losses that they have incurred at the hands of natural disasters.
“This is a big step in the right direction! The coverage that GKI has put together can be done for a season or multiple seasons so farmers and fishers can decide, especially based on their on the ground knowledge, where they face the greatest risk and insure to suit that profile,” the minister said.
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