Insurance companies in Jamaica have been rolling out new products for farmers and fisherfolk, under encouragement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MOAF), which are aimed at helping the sector to manage risk and support health and life planning.
Guardian Life Limited has introduced the FAMA plan, offering a maximum on life insurance of JM$1.5 million (depending on options selected). If death is accidental, the payment can go up to JM$2 million.
In information sent to the Jamaica Observer the company outlined, “Our new Health, Life and Accidental Dismemberment Plan is a multifaceted insurance solution for registered farmers and fisherfolk between the ages of 18 and 74 who reside in Jamaica for at least 9 months in any policy year.”
The company said there are over 220,000 registered farmers in Jamaica through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, an additional 20,000 with the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), and over 22,000 registered fisherfolk in the National Fisheries Authority.
Guardian Insurance outlined, “All members are being targeted, so there are no income criteria. Farmers and fisherfolk may select from affordable options.”
The health portion of the company’s plan provides benefits for health care services ranging from doctor and pharmacy visits to chemotherapy and overseas emergency medical attention in the event that members require emergency medical treatment while on a trip overseas.
“When all available health benefits are combined, one potentially has access to over JM$16 million in claims,” it noted.
The company’s Critical Illness coverage provides insurance protection against 10 major illnesses: cancer, stroke, heart attack, major burns, multiple sclerosis, deafness, blindness, loss of speech, paralysis, and coma. Here, policyholders may access a maximum benefit of JM$1.5 million.
“Guardian Life endeavours to provide as many of Jamaica’s farmers and fisherfolk with its range of offerings under the FAMA Plan, so that they can secure their future and that of their loved ones, “ the company said.
“When all available health benefits are combined, one potentially has access to over JM$16 million in claims”
The plan is being marketed one-on-one by traditional media using radio ads, print ads; by digital and social media on the company’s website and on Facebook, and through agencies of the MOAF.
Sagicor has rolled out a similar life and health plan in recent times. The Business Observer reached out for information, but this has not been forthcoming.
Another insurance provider, Advantage General, has fielded a general insurance plan for the sector. he insurance package, developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, was launched in June.
Now the country’s fisherfolk and farmers can now access insurance coverage for vessels, vehicles and accessories through the company. Farmers will also benefit from specially discounted rates for insuring their cars and homes.
At the time of the launch, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green said that the initiative is significant, as “it is the first that our artisanal fishers will be able to go into an insurance company and take out a policy to protect their fishing vessels. It protects them against a wide array of perils. It protects them both at sea and on land”.
“It gives them not only greater security, it gives them greater accessibility to the things they need to enhance their business,” he noted.
Minister Green said that the scheme is affordable, with annual payments as low as $45,000 annually.