Working as a young agricultural underwriter at Partner Re, we were the lead reinsurer for agricultural risks in Turkey in the early 2000s. While most agricultural risks were reinsured on a treaty basis, some large livestock operators required facultative (single risk) coverage. This took us to Bandirma (Turkey), across the Marmara Sea from Istanbul, to visit one of Turkey’s largest and fully integrated poultry producers with over 52 parent-stock farms and 300 broiler operations. Parent-stock farms import day old chicks from grandparent-stock from overseas, which are used to produce the eggs out of which chicks hatch that are dedicated for meat (broilers) or egg (layers) production.

The parent-stock farm we visited in Bandirma contained 8,000 hens and cockerels located in two houses. Due to the high value of parent-stock, hygiene and safety standards were higher than for a typical broiler and layer operation. I was surprised to see that farmers lived directly attached to the chicken houses and wear coloured anoraks according to the chicken house they work in. We ourselves had to wear anoraks (picture) and get a thorough disinfection before visiting the houses. The farm was well managed and included disinfection facilities for in- and outgoing vehicles and personnel, kept detailed production records and used modern equipment with generators in case of electricity interruption. The farm operator requested insurance against contagious poultry diseases, which have caused mortality in the past, with a per loss and annual aggregate deductible applied over all chicken houses. We requested an English translation of the poultry insurance policy wording to better understand the standard conditions and obligations of the insured.