An FMG client was recently in the news over a claim related to tornado damage to their growing-orchard fruit (apples) which was declined.


The reason this claim was declined is that FMG’s Orchard Fruit Policy does not cover for wind damage. This is clearly stated in the policy wordings.

Below is some further detail on FMG’s Orchard Fruit Policy, and discussion around how FMG defines Natural Disasters – and why.

This story was focused on how this policy responds. It’s important to note that the vast majority of clients with a domestic policy will see that wind damage is covered.

Background on this policy

  • Orchard fruit policy is a specialist insurance product that responds quite differently to more traditional covers such as house, contents & car insurance.
  • Due to the varied nature of risks growing crops are exposed to, the insurance options available have always been very limited.
  • Cover is provided on a named perils basis and the policy definitions that set out the risks covered are unique to this product offering.
  • In recent years this cover has become harder to maintain, with reduced appetite from Reinsurers resulting in increased cost and further cover restrictions.
  • Following the significant losses from the Motueka hailstorm of December 2020, FMG is extremely proud of the fact that we’ve been able to maintain an offering for our orchard clients, when other providers pulled out of this market. This was achieved by FMG substantially increasing the risk retained for this product.

Domestic clients

It’s important to note for the vast majority of clients with a domestic policy wind damage is covered.

Natural Disasters

While there will be many differing definitions of a Natural Disaster as an insurer we need to define this in the interests of assessing risk and deciding what level we’re able to take on and price for.

Insurance cannot cover every eventuality, so we need to make prudent decisions in the interests of ensuring we can continue to operate as an insurer for many years to come.

There are many factors that go into making these decisions–reinsurance availability being one.

Communication with our clients in this story

Thawley Orchards, have a dedicated Commercial Manager and receive yearly on-site reviews.

FMG was on their orchard the day after this event and met face-to-face with the client and was upfront early in the conversation as to the areas where their policy would and would not respond.