Micro-insurance saves farmer's business
Twelve years ago, while Gary Watson worked at his nine-to-five job, he became extremely frustrated because he realised that his sole income source would never afford him the lifestyle he always dreamt of.
As a result, he decided to pursue a career in farming given his extensive training in agriculture and access to 12.5 acres of land. Today, he operates a successful banana farming business, where he also cultivates coconuts, breadfruits and papayas in Highgate, St Mary.
But Watson nearly lost everything last May, when a trough across the central Caribbean dumped heavy rainfall on the island.
ANNUAL RAINY SEASON
However, this wasn't the first time that he had experienced loss at this scale, as Jamaica's annual rainy season usually threatens to devastate his crops.
Luckily, this time around, he had coverage from the Livelihood Protection Policy (LPP), GK Insurance's (GKI) newest micro-insurance product aimed at small-scale entrepreneurs such as fishermen, taxi operators and domestic workers. The insurance scheme targets micro, small, and medium enterprises for the purpose of assisting with recovery after the effects of a storm or hurricane.
The policy does not require any assessment of property. It issues automatic individual payouts to one's bank account within 14 days of a weather event with certain wind speeds and rainfall.
Watson added that the insurance answers the cries of many local farmers.
"When there was a weather event, I got a payout. So, the GK Insurance scheme will help me to protect my investment and be able to achieve the goals that I've set for myself," he said.