Webinar Report & Playback: Onboarding, Monitoring & claim management: Remote sensing solutions and digitization in agricultural finance
30 September 2020 - The Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) Secretariat, FSD Africa and Agritask hosted a webinar entitled "Onboarding, Monitoring & Claim management: Remote sensing solutions and digitization in agricultural finance".
Africa is characterized by a low uptake of agricultural insurance with barely 2 million policies sold annually. Agriculture insurance is also unevenly distributed across the different regions in the continent as farmers do not see its importance until the event of a calamity, with the situation further exacerbated by the unavailability and expensive nature of available agricultural insurance products. The adverse effects of global climate change on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers are however strengthening the value proposition to develop agricultural insurance in Africa.
Agricultural insurers and value chain stakeholders including farmer aggregators in remote areas are often faced with numerous challenges related to farmer onboarding, monitoring season’s progress, conducting claim assessments and yield estimation to establish claims payments. Scalable registration of numerous farmers as well as physical inspections take significant time and resources, while the quality of information collected by claim loss inspectors can vary greatly depending on individual loss adjusters. Field related insurance activities tend to be cumbersome and expensive for smallholder farmers, and also difficult to justify even for larger commercial farms. Usually, insurers have insufficient visibility into the fields until claims occur and incur substantial costs to manage this whilst dealing with other data quality issues driven by moral hazard aspects.
This webinar session allowed panelists to discuss how precision agriculture technologies can be used to improve visibility throughout the cropping season. Einav Gold, Head of Insurance Products & Operations, Agritask said. “It is important to invest in technologies of scale that enable mass collection of on-ground farmer data and one that utilizes targeted season monitoring through use of high-resolution satellite data”
Digital tools enable real-time collection of farmer data and actual farm locations, thereby improving data quality used for risk and exposure analysis. The loss adjustment process designed in electronic forms provide precise inspection patterns allocated to a specific loss assessor thereby guiding inspection patterns, routes and points. Insurers can also give options for their customers to digitally report compliance data or make claims via the same mobile application, further simplifying the process and limiting costs. To compliment ground data, satellite-based remote sensing data can give indications of crop health status and production risk and can benchmark one season to the next or one grower to another.
Ag-insurers, calculating agents and financial sectors need to evaluate risks from complex, multidisciplinary datasets, including agronomy, climate and geography which can be provided on one platform. They require tools to make use of existing data, and also to continuously upgrade it. In addition, they also need to keep their operations efficient and reliable.
Based on such data, panelists also showed how insurance companies can improve the quality and consistency of loss adjustment practices. “Technology is a key enabler in the African crop insurance ecosystem and collaboration between the various stakeholders is vital. Stakeholder training & capacity building is fundamental to demystify cultural beliefs and promote adoption of new technologies from the traditional insurance practices. Significant investments into these would yield a commercial and social return”, noted Rom Aviv, Managing Director, Head of Agricultural Insurance, Agritask.
Agritask offers high-resolution risk assessment and underwriting support tools. It harmonizes primary field data with that from exogenous sources, such as satellite, weather stations and natural peril databases. The platform enforces rigorous field inspections by digitizing complex operational procedures. Only in this way can insurance be scaled and made flexible to serve a range of beneficiaries, from smallholders to commercial agriculture enterprises.
In conclusion, appropriate technology will lead to design of farmer centric products, better uptake, shrinking the protection gap and increasing the penetration levels.
For more details on this session’s content, the event recording is available below. The webinar presentation can also be downloaded via this link.
Agritask is a holistic ag-operations platform, designed to enable fact-based decision making for agricultural businesses. To fulfill this vision, Agritask integrates a wide array of agronomic technologies, tools and data sources into one brain that analyzes the data, quantifies the risks and produces alerts, recommendations, and actionable insights. Data sources vary from sensors and machinery, aerial images, forecast data, and more.
The platform is extensive and rich in capabilities, yet built in a modular, flexible way. It grows with customer needs and facilitates more advanced use of ag-tech, making them accessible via a single platform.
Agritask is used in more than 30 countries, by agricultural businesses of all types: large-scale growers, multi-farm corporations, private equities, ag-buyers, food conglomerates, ag-financing and insurance companies, as well as governments and NGOs.