COMPETITION in the Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) market is already alive with a Canadian insurer launching a national program.
New company, Latevo International, is offering MPCI programs throughout Australia and so far its presence in the agricultural industry has been well received.
But the timing could be too late for a number of farmers in the Eastern Wheatbelt still looking to get finance for this year's crop.
The company is offering a limited release on the program and is calling for farmers to apply.
Latevo International would not reveal how many farmers in WA it would look to insure.
But it said its MPCI program had been specifically developed by Australian farmers, for Australian farmers, so they could have certainty that their enterprise would continue when times were tough.
Latevo will offer farmers running well-managed properties, affordable MPCI that would help them to manage risk and assure revenue against weather-related crop disasters.
Latevo International chief executive Andrew Trotter said after three years planning the company was delighted to be able to help Australian farmers ensure a generational legacy.
Latevo also operates in Canada and is backed by some of the world's largest re-insurers.
The launch also coincides with the return of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions' expected launch of its own Crop Mitigation Insurance (CMI) program next week.
Swiss Re already operates in the US, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Argentina and Brazil.
Global head of Swiss Re's agri corporate business Bernard Belk is set to arrive in Perth as early as this Monday to launch the company's program for the 2014 season, following on from his visit to WA in February.
WA's largest grain grower John Nicoletti is one of a small number of farmers who has already met with both potential insurers.
He said it would be interesting to see what Swiss Re would come out with given what Latevo has already announced.
It is understood the interest in Latevo's program has already been large.
"I think Latevo and the way they did their presentation to me was more attractive than Swiss Re because it is based on revenue," Mr Nicoletti said.
"When you base it on production it is too floppy for me.
"Based on revenue is better because if there is an up or down in price then it is safer.
"If you do it on production it doesn't account for your input costs and grain prices.
"So that is what I enjoyed about them and everybody that works at Latevo are either off the land or are still on the land.
"So they know what they are talking about."
Mr Nicoletti stopped short of saying if he would use the MPCI offered by Latevo but admitted he was certainly leaning that way.
Westpac head of grains WA Chris Moore said historically farmers had no choice but to self-insure their crops and in a number of cases no longer had the balance sheet strength to continue to do so.
"A MPCI provides certainty of financial outcomes allowing farmers to plan for the long term, while helping to protect their business against adversity," Mr Moore said.
Tylers Hardware and Rural Supplies agronomist Ben Cordes, Victoria, said farming families throughout Australia had endured many unforgiving seasons so the concept of assuring revenue for a farmer during a drought or flood would provide the confidence to make better management decisions, pay accounts on time, service loan repayments and improve the quality of life for families on the farm and their communities.
It is still unknown exactly what Swiss Re will announce next week but in February Mr Belk said farmers would have the option to cover whatever amount of dollars they wanted to cover.
"They will also decide whether they want to cover the cost of production, or more than the cost of production or less than the cost of production," Mr Belk said.