NPA seeks member views amid low take up of ASF insurance

The NPA is seeking views from members about African swine fever (ASF) insurance, amid concerns the opportunity could be lost due to a lack of take up.

NFU Mutual has launched a product offering insurance for farmers whose premises are directly affected by an outbreak, which it has revised recently, including significantly reducing the premium.

But, although there has been plenty of interest in the product and the company has issued a number of quotes, it has so far had little uptake from pig producers.

NFU Mutual staff who have been working on the insurance said there do not appear to be any issues with the product itself, which feedback suggests is ‘fit for purpose’. However, many producers do not feel the threat to their businesses is currently high enough to warrant taking out the insurance.

Te company that it will have to close the scheme if the industry cannot demonstrate that it will be utilised. In this case, it would not be re-opened, even if the ASF risk significantly increased.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said the association was asking for members’ feedback. “We have always believed that ASF insurance could be a very useful tool for pig businesses and we would not like to see the scheme scrapped at this stage, which is why we are seeking a more thorough understanding of potential uptake across the industry,” she said.

“Of course, the decision at business level will be based on a number of factors, including perceived risk.

“But, it is important to point out that, while all the focus is currently on COVID-19, ASF is continuing to spread globally and remains a very real threat to the UK pig industry.

“It is now only 10km from the German border in Poland and cases continue to be reported in numerous European, Asian and African countries. The virus has just been reported in India for the first time.

“Once global travel returns to something like normality, the risk of further spread will be heightened again.”

See the NPA website for details on how to feed in your views.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.