Saturday, March 19, 2011

Upcoming Master’s Thesis Project- Aquaculture Insurance

In the third week of April, I will begin working on my Msc Thesis project, which will focus on aquaculture insurance in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  The objective of the study is to conduct a detailed survey into farmer attitudes towards aquaculture stock insurance as well as the various factors and market conditions affecting demand. Additionally, I will be giving a description of the suitability and availability of present policies to meet farmers’ needs.

The study will focus on three distinct production sectors within aquaculture:

a) A sector where insurance is available and coverage is prevalent (Salmon)
b) A sector where insurance is available but coverage is not often purchased (Trout)
c) A sector which is currently rarely covered by insurance (Shellfish)

Characteristics and industry features of the different sectors will be determined to draw correlations between farmers’ operations and perceptions of the risks to which they are exposed, as well as the insurance industry’s perception of the risks and the coverage currently offered by insurers.

For this study, I have partnered with several leading aquaculture insurance brokers and underwriters, who will serve as invaluable ‘industry partners’, providing insight and information into this specialist insurance sector.  Additionally, I have partnered with the respective producer associations to solicit their assistance in contacting producers to conduct interviews.

It is expected that the conclusions of this study should prove valuable to insurance companies, as I will be working to identify discrete factors which affect farmers' uptake of coverage.  The results should also prove beneficial to producers, as the completed study may help insurance companies gain a clearer understanding of the perceptions of risk that farmers maintain.

I am very receptive to external inputs into this study, so please feel free to comment below.  Additionally, if you would like to be involved in the study, please do not hesitate to contact me!  

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