Lloyd’s Syndicate Ascot Insures Farmers in 16 Nations Against Crop-Price Volatility

Insurance Journal | April 11, 2019

Lloyd’s Syndicate Ascot Insures Farmers in 16 Nations Against Crop-Price Volatility
Farmers can now for the first time insure their produce against price volatility as easily as insuring their homes, with a global platform based on hundreds of niche commodity indexes, underwritten by Lloyd’s of London syndicate Ascot. Crop insurance has existed since the 1930s in the United States but is heavily subsidized by the government to provide protection against damage to produce and price risks. There have also been government-backed schemes in Canada and India. Supplying insurance without such state-backing has proved challenging, however, even as price risk continues to rise due to a variety of factors including commodity market liberalization and climate change. “We talk about insurance as the oil of the wheels of the economy but there are lots of under-served areas and one of them is farming,” said Parth Patel, chief risk officer for Ascot Group’s syndicate at Lloyd’s. The new products have been made possible by recent advances in data science and the reduced cost of running the trillions of computer simulations needed to calculate risks across the portfolio of commodity indexes used by the platform’s developer Stable.

Spotlight

Insurance companies should consider the possibility that 10 percent to 20 percent of all claims may be fraudulent. The impact is enormous. Fraud losses weaken an insurer’s financial position and undermine its ability to offer competitive rates and to underwrite reputable and potentially profitable business. For policyholders, fraud losses lead to higher premiums. In this supposedly victimless crime, everybody ends up paying the price. Governments have responded with new regulations and centralized fraud bureaus. Insurance companies have responded by establishing special investigative units (SIUs) armed with computer-based tools to detect and prevent fraud. Yet the problem continues to grow, and in recent years, it has grown significantly.

Spotlight

Insurance companies should consider the possibility that 10 percent to 20 percent of all claims may be fraudulent. The impact is enormous. Fraud losses weaken an insurer’s financial position and undermine its ability to offer competitive rates and to underwrite reputable and potentially profitable business. For policyholders, fraud losses lead to higher premiums. In this supposedly victimless crime, everybody ends up paying the price. Governments have responded with new regulations and centralized fraud bureaus. Insurance companies have responded by establishing special investigative units (SIUs) armed with computer-based tools to detect and prevent fraud. Yet the problem continues to grow, and in recent years, it has grown significantly.

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