A group insurance scheme against highly pathogenic avian influenza taken out by the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (Bfrepa) has not been renewed due to a huge rise in renewal term prices.
Bfrepa made the decision not to renew its highly pathogenic avian influenza group insurance, which covered up to 20 members for £50,000 of secondary cleansing and disinfection costs. It said the decision was very disappointing news for its members and for the Association but was not surprising given the current circumstances following the worst highly pathogenic avian influenza epidemic in history. More than 100 commercial poultry premises have had bird flu outbreaks across Great Britain in the past year.
It said renewal terms for the cover were provided by underwriters at very short notice, within 2 days of the old cover lapsing, giving the Association little time to warn members of the increasing premiums.
The initial renewal quote from insurers was a 221% increase in the premium, together with a condition requiring members to pay 25% of any claim. Bfrepa went back to the underwriters asking for a quote which halved the cover available in the hope that the renewal costs to the Association could be maintained at existing levels. Despite halving the cover, the quote was still £16,306 more expensive than the previous year and would still require members to pay the first 25% of any claim.
Bfrepa said it felt the quotes were unacceptable on the following grounds:
Members who do not have existing avian influenza cover and who might have benefitted from the secondary cleansing and disinfection cover should contact Scrutton Bland with the aim of obtaining comprehensive disease insurance.
In the meantime, the organisation will continue to research the difficult market – there are only 2 underwriters for both avian influenza and/or salmonella cover – in the hope of finding an affordable group disease scheme.