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Poultry Around the World

Mark Clements' view of the world poultry industry with a British twist.
Broilers & Layers / Egg Production

The value of insurance for poultry producers

June 15, 2012

Shortly after moving into the apartment where I still live, there was an attempted burglary. I was out that night, I had still not bought a bed and had grown a little tired of sleeping on the floor.

When I returned home, I could not open the front door and, being a student, I could ill-afford a locksmith. 

Back then, I wished that the thieves had managed to open the door as there was nothing worth stealing in my home and, had they got in, it would have saved me the expense of installing a new lock. 

I’m still not sure that there is much worth stealing here, but I work from home, so a visit from a thief could have far more serious implications. 

I have come across a couple of instances where poultry farmers have suffered problems on farm, and because they weren’t properly insured their businesses were set back considerably. In fact, we ran a feature earlier this year where a family ended up living in the farm office following a fire, as they had had to divert what remaining capital they had to rebuilding farm buildings, rather than their home.

I am no expert on insurance but I thought it might be worth sharing the details of an insurance policy that popped into my in-box this week. I am sure that there are other policies on the market that do a good job, yet the policy in question claims to offer a couple of unique features and to have “moved with the times,” so I thought it might be worth taking a quick look at it. 

Oval Insurance Broking offers what it calls the “Poultry Unique” policy, and says that it vastly reduces exposure to the unique challenges faced by those in the industry. It covers all forms of disease and can be tailored against a particular disease that a flock may be more susceptible to. The policy also covers the consequential loss incurred by a disease outbreak. 

Disease in some shape or form has always been around, but the policy also covers areas that have not been with us for quite so long, such as wind turbines and solar panels. Client director of Oval Insurance in the North West Andy Dutton explained that younger, more tech-savvy farmers are now taking the reins in the UK and so there is a greater need to cover technological assets alongside birds, mechanical and structural assets. 

The policy is available outside the UK and can be tailored to the needs of the individual farmer. What struck me about it is that it is applicable to all forms of disease, and seems to be in tune with modern production. 

Insurance is one of those funny things — it is, perhaps, not the most interesting of topics. Not that interesting, that is, until you actually need it. They do say insurance is like a parachute. If it isn’t there the first time, chances are you won’t be needing it again. 

When disaster strikes, it may be possible to rebuild a business should you have the capital yourself, but if you haven’t that will be that. And even if you can rebuild long-term, who is to say that your customers will still be there? Whoever your provider may be, having coverage in place can not only help you sleep more easily at night, but allow you to continue sleeping easily.

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