Parametric frost or hail insurance is gaining ground in viticulture

Returns from policyholders are always the same, testifies Charles Maury, founder and director of CLImate-INSurance, a company specializing in parametric insurance. They appreciate parametric insurance because it has no deductible, no Olympic average or expertise, and reimbursement is quick in the event of a claim. »

Still underdeveloped in viticulture, this type of insurance is gaining ground in the sector. Its strengths are its simplicity and readability. The winegrower chooses the plots and the capital he wishes to insure. It is ensured according to parameters fixed in advance and measured by tools specified in the contract. For frost, these are approved weather stations which can be located in the insured’s vineyards, in a neighboring plot or belong to Météo France. It is enough for the temperature to drop below the threshold fixed in the contract, for a period also fixed – for example – 3°C in April – for the insured to be compensated. No expert comes to see the damage. In the case of hail, insurance companies use hail sensors. Of course, the amount of their contracts takes into account the possible recurrence of episodes of frost or hail.

No deductible

In Cognac, the insurer Atekka, a subsidiary of InVivo, and the cooperative group Océalia have teamed up with the American company Understory to make an offer. “For frost, we have installed sixteen connected stations that measure the temperature of the vine leaves in the heart of the vineyard”, explains Laurent Marbotte, commercial director of Atekka.

Offered since this year, this insurance has already been used with frost ranging from -4°C to -6°C in early April 2022, and an episode of hail in June. In Cognac, a winegrower insured 9.80 ha, with no deductible against frost and with a 10% deductible against hail, at a cost of €9,290. The sum insured was €97,976. He received €19,066 for the April 4 frost, and €33,984 for the June 20 hail.

It is not subsidized

“Parametric insurance provides complementary solutions to winegrowers, continues Laurent Marbotte. The downside is that it is not subsidized. It can be taken out with classic climate insurance which covers losses beyond the deductible of 20 to 25%. In this case, parametric insurance can cover losses from 0 to 20% or 25%. »

Bernard Finas, president and founder of the Jola insurance brokerage firm, compares the two types of insurance. “I’m not trying to put them in competition, he specifies. As it is subsidized, multi-risk weather insurance is unbeatable in terms of prices. Parametric insurance can come in addition, in order to ensure the deductible or the difference between the actual selling price and that appearing in the scale to which the insurance refers. It’s case by case. Parametric insurance can, for example, meet a need for two years if the Olympic average is considered too low by the insured, and no longer be relevant after two good harvests. »

A contract that really protects

Charles Maury customers do not combine the two types of insurance: “They feel that traditional insurance is not a solution for them. Admittedly, parametric insurance is not subsidized, but they prefer to pay for a contract that really protects them”.

Charles Maury also offers insurance for lack of supply to cooperative cellars. “The cooperatives of the Rhône Valley, affected several years in a row by small harvests, are beginning to take an interest in it, he testifies. Often, they provide capital that allows them to cover their fixed costs. » All these insurers point out that the realization of these tailor-made contracts takes time, and that you should not wait until the end of February to contact them!

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