FORMER Mukinbudin farmer Rowell Walton said he was still talking to people who thought the window to take out cover for multi-peril insurance had closed.
With the late start to the season, Mr Walton said there was still time for farmers to get insurance which covered drought, water stress, flood, hailstones, wind, frost, lightning, excessive rain, heat stress, snow, hurricane, cyclone, tornado, wildlife, wandering livestock, accidental fire, bushfire, weed infestation and insect/pest manifestation.
Mr Walton, along with a few other farmers across the country formed Farmers First to offer income protection for farmers via multi peril insurance policies.
“As the season threatens to run away, it’s timely to remind farmers and their lenders that the time for action is now, if you want to cover yourself against drought or frost or a plethora of other risks farmers deal with,” Mr Walton said.
Mr Walton moved to Condamine, Queensland, in 1983 after consecutive droughts in 1976 and 1977 at Mukinbudin.
“In one of those years I was unable to harvest my seed wheat and had to borrow seed from one of my mates, this led me and my young wife to reconsider our future,” he said.
“What was clear was that the risks are real and without cover it was difficult to get through, yet at the time the drought relief scheme was there to save us and it did.”
Mr Wilton said today farmers had far higher costs, less margins and took far more risk.
“This risk can and should be unwound in the commercial world by taking cover so that your business has an embedded stop loss, in the form of a multi-peril cover,” he said.
Mr Wilton said his company had been criticised by potential customers because of the 10 per cent tax in WA.
“The tax is a real inhibitor to the uptake of income protection,’’ he said.
“There are three groups of people who have an interest in the product – those who are highly geared, those who need to offset the risk and those who recognise the uplift in production as a result of better input choices reflecting prior failed season.”