Spreading the risk – essential insurance for the fertiliser services industry
Published 20 February 2017
Just as you need the perfect fertiliser mix for specific soils, you also need the right insurance plan for your spreader business’s unique needs.
Statistically, the biggest risks faced by spreaders are staked tyre damage and vehicle rollover. As well as being inconvenient, these can come at significant cost to your business – because they’re usually not covered in the standard motor insurance policies many spreaders have.
Replacing a staked tyre could cost between $1000-$2000 if it isn’t covered under your insurance policy. Similarly, if you don’t have the right marine transit cover in your motor policy wording, rolling a spreader – either in transit or on the paddock – can be a costly setback.
The level of risk awareness among members of the Australian Fertiliser Services Association (AFSA) is high. But insurance can be complicated. If you’re not asking the right questions, or you’re unable to truly understand policy wordings yourself, it’s easy to be left with gaps in cover.
Specialist insurance broker Chris Russell, from Gallagher’s Mulgrave Branch, says that too many fertiliser spreading business owners prioritise the price of insurance above all other considerations.
“When choosing insurance, it’s always worth looking beyond price,” said Chris. “Instead, business owners should look for value. What are you actually covered for? What sort of service can you expect? How well will you be looked after during the claims process?
“It pays to know your options. You might still decide that price is the most important driver for you, but at least be aware of what’s available in the market. The price difference could be a lot less than you think.”
For nearly 30 years, AFSA has endorsed Gallagher as its insurance broker of choice. And Chris says that having access to that level of expertise and deep understanding of the industry’s insurance requirements gives business owners the advantage.
“We’ve worked closely with AFSA over many years to develop risk management and insurance solutions that really respond to members’ needs,” he said.
“Staked tyre damage and loss of load are covered as standard in our motor policy wording for spreaders. There’s even the option to add ‘Down Time Protection’ cover to offset loss of profits in case your business is unable to trade due to unforeseen circumstances.
“It all helps make sure your business remains viable and can get back to peak operational performance as soon as possible.”
Holistic protection for your business
Beyond your motor policy, there are other types of insurance you could be considering – and should be aware of.
Management liability insurance provides protection against some common business risks, as well as cover for those accused of failing in their responsibilities as managers. This could be useful, for example, if you have a spreader roll due to its load not flowing out evenly, and the operator is injured.
Cyber liability insurance protects businesses from losses arising out of lost or stolen data, malware, viruses and cyber extortion. The most rapidly rising risk facing all businesses today, if you use email, run a website or have any client records online, you’re potentially at risk.
Business interruption insurance covers your business for loss of profits should you be unable to trade due to unforeseen circumstances, such as extreme weather events, or major equipment failure or loss. It can provide peace of mind by covering overtime, wages and sub-contractor fees.
To discuss an insurance solution that best fits your fertiliser business, contact Gallagher on 1800 572 145 or visit info.ajg.com.au/afsa