After years of active planning and providing assistance to insurance firms on the development of agro-product insurance programs in order to assist farmers to transfer agro-business risks, the Council of Agriculture (COA) announced that the top-grafted pear insurance packages submitted by insurance firms to the Financial Supervisory Commission’s Insurance Bureau for revision have been approved in September and will be made commercially available in November. The said insurance program for top-grafted pear will be promoted as any commercial insurance program. The COA subsidizes one third of the insurance premium to alleviate pear farmers’ financial burdens. With this insurance program on the road, a new era of crop insurance against natural disasters is ushered in.
The COA explained that since Taiwan presents a wide variety of crops clustering in certain areas during specific harvest seasons, it is necessary to enhance agricultural professional training on insurance approval and damage assessment for agents or adjusters in order to ensure the quality of natural disaster assessment and crop loss estimate. Therefore, the COA will provide assistance in drafting the Natural Disaster Loss Assessment Operations Manual for Top-Grafted Pear as well as organize training courses on disaster loss claim determination during this probation period in order to ensure a successful outcome for the program and accumulate related experiences in the field.
The COA further explained that current Salvation Regulations of Agricultural Disasters will remain intact during this probation period for the top-grafted pear insurance program. The Council would set regulations for insurance premium subsidies for partially subsidizing farmers, and has already planned on organizing up to 11 seminars in 5 main top-grafted pear production districts including Yilan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Chiayi Counties and Taichung City. The events aimed to explain the policies and objectives of the government in initiating crop insurance program against natural disasters, and also offered detailed information on insurance program content as well as relevant insurance procedures in order to encourage farmers’ participation in the program.
The COA stated that the Executive Yuan gives its full support to the Crop Insurance Policy. Premier Mao, Chi-kuo has even emphasized its importance as the government’s future policy. To further reduce agriculture related business risks for farmers who invested in agricultural installations, the COA is determined to complete the planning of agricultural installations insurance program and extend the coverage of agricultural insurance against natural disasters by the end of April 2016, just before the Flood Control Period begins.