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Ensure animal welfare

Loss Adjusting

Modern farming has always evolved with the times, improvements in agricultural machinery and changes in society. Nowadays, the sector is facing many changes and challenges: to provide food for a population which is more aware of production conditions and animal welfare. Moreover, the health crisis has also shown the need for France to ensure its food sovereignty in order to produce essential food for its consumption. All these transformations also lead to an evolution of the insurance world in order to limit risks and take into account animal welfare, which the loss adjuster will be able to analyse in the event of a claim.

Consumer concerns about animal welfare

As the population increases, so does the need for agricultural products. Agricultural professionals are under more and more pressure both from production and from regulations that are increasingly restrictive. Climatic conditions are also a factor of change: more frequent heat peaks or sudden changes in temperature with the appearance of frost requiring adaptability from both policyholders and insurers.  Farmers have to produce more while paying attention to animal welfare, for which the consumer is the “guarantor”. It is therefore necessary to find a balance between animal welfare and the sustainability of the farmer.

Establishment of a bio-security agreement

Since January 2021, an “organic safety and animal welfare” pact for livestock farming has been in place. This pact provides support to livestock professionals in the form of investment aid to strengthen prevention against animal diseases and improve livestock farming conditions. This plan for the modernisation of the animal sector, whether it be livestock farms or slaughterhouses, aims to respond to various challenges:   

  • Strengthen the competitiveness of the sectors while meeting food requirements;  
  •  Investing in biosecurity to prevent health crises by guaranteeing the prevention of animal diseases such as avian flu and swine fever;  
  • Supporting farmers in future investments. 

As proof of how the public authorities are taking societal issues into account, this modernisation plan is a first step, while insurers are increasingly attentive to animal welfare which, in the future, could very well be taken into account in deductible calculations.  Taking into account this insurance point of view, more and more professionals in the agricultural world are trying to respond to climate change (heat peaks, for example) by building adapted buildings to reduce the risk of loss (mortality in livestock) in the event of high temperatures. 

Insurers are very attentive to new technologies and see in this government modernisation plan a real desire to help farmers, who are sometimes reluctant to receive aid to protect themselves better. For example, to ensure the well-being of a herd, farmers install fences to isolate livestock from wild animals, which are potential vectors of animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans. The plan could also fund audits to identify risk factors for the introduction of diseases and dictate measures to prevent them. All these actions are indirectly in line with animal welfare, of which health is one of the components. 

An animal welfare loss adjuster

In addition to being a societal concern, animal welfare is also taken into account during a know-how. In view of the regulatory changes, insurers keep a close watch on the revision of their insurance policies to cover new claims but also to cover new technologies that allow them to understand how to respond to the animal’s comfort. For his part, the loss adjuster must also be aware of the latest standards and legal elements in order to support the insurer and the insured as closely as possible. In the event of a claim, the know-how not only makes it possible to gather all the information necessary to try to resolve the claim, but also to advise the insured on new technologies and standards in force to promote animal welfare. These new technologies are also useful in understanding a claim, such as continuous recordings of breeding and environmental parameters, which make it possible to collect data recorded over a sufficiently long period of time to, for example, analyse the behaviour of the animals and thus explain their reaction to a phenomenon that may have generated a claim. 

Today, all the technologies and the involvement of the public authorities make it possible to respond to society’s demand for animal welfare; an essential development in our society that needs to be taken into account in the insurance field. 

Sébastien LOCH

Company expert, agricultural specialist – Stelliant