Game and Wildlife Insurance

The game and wildlife industry in South Africa is booming and has proved to be a good investment as it can offer very lucrative returns, sometimes outperforming commodities. As a relative new class of insurance, game insurance requires specialist knowledge and skills.

What factors influence game insurance?
Economic factors, changing weather patterns, theft, high prices and unforeseen incidents compelled the game farmer to focus on financial protection as part of his risk management plan. Barring game insurance, the game farmer is only left with high-risk options such as self-insurance (taking on the financial risk), an overdraft facility or a loan account from another farmer to finance unexpected losses. Game insurance evolved as an apparent and bespoke solution of transferring related risks for a rapidly expanding industry.

Related risks
There are several risk factors that threaten the business of a game farmer as it necessitates a great deal of time and money to realise an investment in game farming. For this reason, it is imperative that game farmers ensure that their business interests are comprehensively insured.

A few of the potentially most impactful insurable risks are:

  1. The process of moving animals mostly involves tranquilising the animals which always involves a degree of risk. This procedure needs to be supervised by a veterinarian.
  2. The second insurable risk is the transportation element. Once the animals have been captured safely, there are major risks associated with moving the animals during the transportation process. There are a few considerations such as sufficient lack of ventilation, enough space for the animals to move around, etc. 
  3. Stress caused to the animal during capture, the effects of tranquilisers and being transported are major risk factors to be considered. Animals can, and often do, die from stress-related causes post release.

The role of underwriters and brokers
As an industry, the insurance business is ever-changing and impacted by variable economic conditions. Specialist underwriters with up-to-date knowledge on the mechanics and trends in the game farming industry have emerged to serve this niche.
Game insurance specialists are aware of the different resilience levels of various species of game; some can handle the stress of being captured and transported better than others. With this kind of information, a game insurance broker will be able to identify different risk profiles and accurately advise the game farmer on how to mitigate relevant risks. In an industry with high value commodities, it is important that your insurer is reputable and has the necessary underwriting capacity.

Nowadays, game insurance products can be tailored and different extensions are available to the benefit of the client. Knowledge and experience are even more key when considering that this industry is active throughout the year with auctions and trading amongst farmers where in-depth and on-the-ground knowledge of the industry become even more vital.

Talk to your experienced Garrun broker about game insurance to get the best and most up-to-date advice if you are looking to invest in game or have a game farm where you need expert guidance.