Soft insurance coverage against €200 million toxic algae bloom

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Although the fish farmers are insured against algae loss, they must still cover most of the bill themselves.

Gjensidige is the largest insurance company for the Norwegian aquaculture industry struggling with a massive algae attack in the northern part of the country.

“All fish farmers have insurance that covers such events as this. For our part, the deductible the farmers themselves must cover is at least 20 per cent, and I will assume it is somewhat similar to the other companies,” says communications director at Gjensidige, Øystein Thoresen, to Dagens Næringsliv.

“Some farmers have a higher deductible, perhaps up to 40-50 per cent, either because they themselves want this for the sake of lower insurance premium or because we consider that the risk is high.”

However, the insurance only covers the cost of release of smolt, feeding and salaries up to the time of the injury. The lost income for fish not fed up to slaughter size is not covered.

Dagens Næringsliv has made rough calculations on a potential slaughter value of NOK 2 billion (€200 million) for the fish that has been choked by the algae in Troms and Nordland.

On Wednesday, the interest organization Sjømatbedriftene’s CEO, Robert Eriksson, advocated a compensation scheme for fish farmers.