“At times, I confess, I did feel a bit like an itinerant preacher, moving from town to town and spreading the word. But while the national broker roadshow did have something to do with feeding the multitudes, that’s pretty much where the spiritual metaphor ends,” quips Wiese, the head of Hollard Insure’s Agri Centre of Excellence.
It was, in fact, all business – and serious business, at that.
Agriculture is a key sector in our economy, Wiese told his audiences, and not just because of food security. When one considers the entire value chain, including farming, processing and retail, it involves almost a third of our country’s GDP. From an insurance point of view (both crop and asset), agriculture is worth more than a whopping R4.5-billion in premium.
And the face of the agricultural sector is transforming rapidly in terms of ownership, demographics and technological advancement. But is this innovation reflected in the kinds of insurance available to farmers? Wiese argued not – except when it comes to the new covers available from Hollard Agri.
“We’ve spent a considerable amount of time and effort researching South Africa’s agricultural landscape, the results of which I shared in detail on my roadshow. The fascinating outcomes of this research clearly showed us how we needed to modify our policy offerings to suit the modern South African farmer.
“So that’s what we did: we devised an entirely new product that speaks to the needs of the farmer of today – not the one of yesteryear (who might actually still own the farm but has delegated working it to his children). I unpacked all the policy options on the roadshow, explaining their relevance in the context of our current agricultural reality,” says Wiese.
Despite this rapidly changing environment, one thing remains quite constant: how farmers buy insurance. Research has shown that farmers are very tech-savvy – much more than you might think, in fact – but when it comes to buying equipment and taking out insurance cover, they still prefer good old-fashioned eyeballs and handshakes.
“And that’s where our broker partners, are vital – to us at Hollard Insure, and to our country’s farmers. For us, brokers are at the heart of our intermediated insurance business model; for the agricultural sector, they have a key role to play around the advice and support they can give to farmers on mitigating risk, insurance cover and claims,” Wiese states.
If you attended the roadshow, thank you. You would have been armed with all the information you need on the state of South Africa agriculture, and of course Hollard Agri’s smart new product offerings (and you will have collected some CPD points into the bargain).
If you have any questions, or you unfortunately missed the roadshow and would like to find out more, please get in touch with Hollard Agri by contacting Siphamandla Dube on (011) 351 1314 or Rochelle Pillay on (011) 351 2557. Or mail Wiese directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll be glad to assist you with everything you need – from information to innovative policy options – to provide your agri customers with everything they need to keep farming, no matter what.