The hiring of agricultural insurance broke records throughout Spain in the year just closed, but much more in Castilla y León, according to the latest Agroseguro balance sheet. The Community recorded the largest hiring increases, with a total insured capital of 2,319 million euros, 22.3% more than in 2019. Specifically, the number of insurance policies in the Community increased by 20.9%, up to over 86,000; Insured production grew by 30.5%, exceeding 10.2 million tons and, in addition, the number of insured animals in 2020 exceeded 28.3 million, 10.7% more than the previous year.
Agricultural insurance throughout Spain broke records in 2020, according to figures from Agroseguro. The number of declarations made stood at 415,975, 4.7% more than in the previous year. For their part, premiums grew 1.6%, and stood at 796.2 million euros, the highest figure in the 40-year history of agricultural insurance, as explained in the entity.
It also reached un record, insured capital, which grew 6.7% to 15,213.79 million euros. In total, the volume of insured production in 2020 exceeded 40.9 million tons, 13.1 percent more than in the previous year. The most significant growth occurred in herbaceous crops (23%), citrus (11%), vegetables (8%) and wine grapes (1.3%).
The total insured area reached 7.8 million hectares. Excluding complementary insurance, the final figure exceeds 6.1 million hectares, 6.2% more than in 2019, driven by the growth of agricultural insurance for citrus (8.2%), extensive herbaceous crops (6.6 %) or wine grape (1.1%). Other lines also grew, such as forage crops (with 56% more insured area), nuts (35%), tropical or subtropical crops (35%) or bananas (7%), among others.. In the case of livestock insurance, 315.7 million animals were insured in 2020, 2.7% less than in the previous year.
The Spanish Combined Agrarian Insurance system offers coverage to the agricultural sector against damages caused to agricultural and livestock production due to accidents of various kinds. “The extreme and changing climatic conditions and the damaging effects they have on crops show the convenience of protecting farms with agricultural insurance that allows them to face these situations,” says Agroseguro.
The Combined Agricultural Insurance Plan for 2021 has 256.47 million euros in the General State Budgets (PGE), of which 251.27 are destined to subsidize the insurance premiums contracted by farmers and ranchers, which represents an increase of 40 million (19%) with respect to the amount budgeted in the five previous plans.
«This increase is of extraordinary importance for the agricultural sector, inasmuch as it ensures sufficient financing to cover the insurance subsidies with the current contracting levels and allows the introduction of important improvement measures in the system, some of which have been in great demand by the representatives of the sector ”, explains the entity.
Between them highlights the subsidy for insurance surcharges applied for high individual claims, which will allow greater support to be provided to those producers whose farms are located in higher risk areas; Until now, the surcharges, which in 2019 affected 20,000 policyholders, were not eligible.
For their part, young farmers will see their subsidy practically doubled, since this, which ranged between 9 and 11%, increases by 10 points. In 2019, about 5,300 young people benefited.
Another of the innovations introduced is the increase in the subsidy corresponding to complementary insurance, which are taken out by the insured after having subscribed a main insurance when they already have more reliable information about their harvest expectations.
In addition, the plan includes two new additional subsidies in the insurance for compensation for loss of pasture (for organic production farms that belong to a livestock health defense group), as well as a subsidy in aquaculture lines for the fractioning of the payment of the policies, which means an increase in the level of public support to encourage their hiring. The basic subsidy for agricultural insurance in the Canary Islands is also increased.
On the other hand, the new plan foresees the review and improvement of existing insurance lines and to carry out a series of studies, throughout 2021, aimed at promoting their development in the following years.