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If farmers need anything (other than agri stuff), it’s a great broker

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The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the FIA. The article below was supplied by 2018 FIA partner, Hollard.

Most of us have probably never heard of NAMPO Harvest Day, or even Bothaville, the Free State dorp that hosts it – but there is a serious insurance lesson to be learned there.

For the uninitiated, NAMPO Harvest Day is reckoned to be the fifth-largest agricultural show in the world. And it’s big, all right: the recently held NAMPO 2018 attracted tens of thousands of visitors from all over South Africa and the sub-continent, who came to learn about the latest in farm equipment, animal husbandry, crops, and land and water management.

And insurance. Hollard’s “local is lekker” philosophy means being where its customers are – and when it comes to agri insurance, that means events such as NAMPO Harvest Day. Hollard agri, trucking and life insurance exponents from all over South Africa teamed up for the insurer’s debut at the show.

If NAMPO 2018 illustrated anything, says Andries Wiese, head of Hollard Insure’s Agri Centre of Excellence, it’s that farmers need expert insurance brokers.

“Agriculture is technologically advanced, requires massive capital investment and faces a host of risks, ranging from drought and disease to natural disasters. These factors demand smart insurance solutions, and the expert advice and support of specialist agri brokers,” says Wiese.

For Hollard, the combination of specialist brokers and its own local-is-lekker branch network, which best understands local conditions, is essential to providing farmers with relevant, personalised insurance cover.

“We know agri, and our branches know the circumstances in which their customer bases operate; this translates to appropriate, clever insurance solutions for every client. Together with our expert broker partners, we can achieve the win-win-win for our customers, the brokers and ourselves,” argues Wiese.

“Vital to this success is the broker. Hollard works almost exclusively through brokers, who are at the core of our business model – and if ever there was a sector that illustrates the immense value that they offer to our customers, it’s agriculture. That’s why Hollard recently launched its two-year #LongLiveTheBroker campaign, because we believe in the longevity of our broker partners.”

What’s important to bear in mind, Wiese continues, is the scale and significance of the agricultural sector to South Africa’s economy.

“Agriculture is very clearly a central element of the South African economy. As South Africa’s second-largest independent insurer, we thus have a responsibility to be meaningfully involved in this sector.

“This tallies squarely with our Better Futures marketing campaign, which promotes the concept that doing good and creating a better future for everyone is at the heart of doing good business,” says Wiese.

“By supporting the agricultural sector, we’re doing something positive for our country as a whole: we’re helping farmers to mitigate risk and remain sustainable, we’re helping to create and retain jobs, and we’re helping to guarantee food security.”

So how did the Hollard stand fare at NAMPO?

“Things went very well,” says Wiese. “Our visitors remarked positively about our visually striking stand, where the local-is-lekker message was prominently displayed. But more importantly, they were impressed by Hollard as a competitive and dynamic insurer, which offers smart agri covers that meet their specific needs.”