Hillridge, MSIG team up to protect farmers in VN

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2023 11:38

Representatives from the two companies pose for a photo after signing the partnership agreement. — Photo provided by the agency

Australia's insurtech startup Hillridge Co will co-operate with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group (MSIG) Vietnam to launch a new agricultural insurance product that protects farmers in Viet Nam from the risks of drought.

This consensus followed a partnership agreement inked between the two companies in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

The first-of-its-kind product, powered by Hillridge's acclaimed platform and underwritten by MSIG, insures farmers against the volatility of the southeast Asian climate.

"2023 has proven to be a prescient year for us to launch this product, with El Niño threatening dry conditions for much of Viet Nam," said Hillridge CEO Dale Schilling at the signing ceremony.

"We recently visited many of the coffee growing areas in Viet Nam's central highlands, where farmers shared how droughts have caused their crops to fail in the past - greatly impacting their harvest, yields, and ultimately their livelihoods. Farmers have an increasing need to insure themselves against the impact of these kinds of adverse conditions," he said.

"Viet Nam is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change," Schilling said.

He added that this agricultural insurance product would become increasingly an essential part of operations for Viet Nam's farmers, who would ultimately need to protect their livelihoods against the increasing weather volatility that rising global temperatures, climbing sea levels, increasing salinisation of waterways and more frequent drought was set to deliver.

MSIG Vietnam Deputy General Director Nguyen Thi Lan Phuong said the Japanese insurance giant, with its 14-year history in Viet Nam, saw the agriculture sector as a key area in which it could expand its already broad product portfolio.

"This is the first agri-insurance product that we have launched in Viet Nam, where it joins our extensive portfolio of products that we offer here,” Phuong said.

“With almost 40 per cent of the land in Viet Nam used for agricultural purposes, and for the sustainable growth of a sector which accounts for almost 13 per cent of GDP, I believe that this product will be the best shield for farmers to protect what they care about," she said.

According to the two companies, the platform is a Viet Nam first, allowing farmers to directly log in online, and generate quotes against drought in real-time. Any agricultural business susceptible to drought can buy cover through the platform.

An agreed payout is determined before the commencement of the insurance, and when the policy's conditions are met, payouts are made accordingly - simplifying procedures for both the insured and the insurer.

Hillridge Technology Pty Ltd is a software technology company helping address the climate protection gap – low rates of insurance protection against weather perils – in agriculture and other climate-exposed industries.

Meanwhile, MSIG Vietnam is a subsidiary of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company within MS&AD Insurance Group ("MS&AD Holdings") – one of the largest general insurance groups in the world with presence in 50 countries and regions globally. — VNS

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