Over 2.9 million ha insured, over 4500 farmers supported through a fully digitized process
Agra Asigurări, the company that introduced digitalization in the agricultural insurance sector, celebrates 5 years of activity in Romania. The balance of this period indicates over 4500 insured farmers with over 2.9 million ha of cultivated areas, 4 categories of insurance products in the portfolio. The company brought to market two digital resources dedicated to farmers, brokers, and collaborators, to facilitate a non-bureaucratic and digitized process, from purchasing the policy to notifying and assessing damages, and paying compensations.
The agro insurer entered the Romanian market from the very beginning with a digitized process that aimed to eliminate as much as possible the physical documents, from issuing electronic insurance offers and policies to the field assessment of damages by using tablets for processing and issuing a final damage protocol. Satellite or drone pictures are used in the evaluation process, depending on the vegetation stage period of the crop subject to the evaluation process.
The parent company, Österreichische Hagelversicherung, continuously invests in the digitization of internal processes. Each department benefiting from its teams dedicated to digitization, and specific projects are implemented simultaneously in all its local branches, with the necessary adaptations, thus ensuring a linear and complete development process in the markets in which it is present.
“Our goal is to provide the farmer with easy access to our policies and quick and non-bureaucratic damage settlement. We did this by eliminating the commonly practiced cluttered documentation. Also, we make investments and have many projects under development to facilitate and make transparent access to agricultural policies. We aim for sustainability policies and a minimal impact on the environment. In practice, we aim to work paperless, like our colleagues in Austria, and we limit the paper print as much as possible”, declared Adrian-Horia Lupu, General Manager of Agra Asigurări.
The Agrasat application and the Agra Asigurari electronic portal, two digital resources dedicated to farmers, brokers, and collaborators
The Agrasat application collects data from the Sentinel (ESA) and Landsat (NASA) space satellites recorded in the last 12 months and gives farmers access to crop status information. Farmers can visualize the status of their crops and also establish their maintenance strategies for each crop.
The Agra electronic portal facilitates access to farmers of the archive of documents related to the insurance contract (policies, insurance conditions, additional documents, claim protocol, claim statement) and images from the satellite of their insured land. Brokers can access all the documents during the process and the claim status for each insurance policy in real-time.
Fully digitized insurance process – from the issuance of the insurance policy to the assessment of damages and the payment of compensation
The damage assessment procedure is fast and completely digitized, carried out by a professional and dedicated team of agronomists, active farmers, and specialists in the agricultural field. Damage assessment takes place on the land, with farmers actively participating in this process. The damage protocol is saved on the electronic tablet, becoming visible in the online portal in a short time, both for farmers and the broker. In the Agra electronic portal, they can follow the evolution of the file until the payment of the compensation.
Romanian farmers are increasingly open to adopting digital solutions that help them act quickly and for their benefit
The new context brought by the pandemic and the climate changes in recent years have left a mark on farmers’ crops and accelerated the digitization processes in the agricultural industry, contributing to increasing demand for agricultural insurance products.
“We see a greater openness in the market for digital solutions even in agriculture, and the pace of technology acceptance has increased. With the help of online training programs, we managed to make our insurance products better known among brokers. Also, out of the desire to keep in touch with our collaborators, we communicated more through social media, and we increased the number of newsletters with important information for them”, stated Iulia Parapianu, Deputy Director of Agra Asigurări.
A continuous and accelerated transformation is foreseen in the coming years for the agricultural sector, which will bring opportunities for the development of new products on a technological basis, and farmers will keep up and increase the degree of adoption of agricultural insurance.
“We are working to streamline the sales process with the help of the sales force, and through the online portal available on our website, we aim to support brokers by issuing offers online. We will also be working more and more with satellite data, and we are currently developing a parametric drought product, which measures soil moisture exactly on the insured plot. On the claims side, we will continue to digitize the claims assessments according to the products we will bring to the market”, added Iulia Parapianu, Deputy Director of Agra Asigurări.
Agra Asigurări plans to insure 1 million ha per agricultural year
Since the establishment of the Agra Asigurări branch in Romania in 2016, the company’s portfolio has increased 5 times, from 160,000 insured ha to over 800,000 ha. The company expects that the insured areas will continue to grow, and it estimates that in the next 2 years it will provide 1,000,000 ha, simultaneously with the digitization plans. The company currently collaborates with over 60 brokerage firms and approximately 270 agents for brokering insurance products. They are also working in parallel with the development of teams of assessors at the national level, through a very well-established process, from the recruitment phase to reaching the level of a specialist in assessing damage to crops.
“Farmers are the ones who provide food for the entire population, but we are aware that agriculture is becoming an increasingly risky business. We want to support them to continue their mission and to ensure the sustainability of their business”, concluded Adrian-Horia Lupu.