Hollyfort Farm Limited
Irrigated flat land Arable and store lambs
530 Hectares over 2 farms in Dorie and Chertsey, Mid Canterbury
Hollyfort Farm is a fast-paced operation that demands a team of professionals as efficient as the family running it. Peter and Gabrielle (husband and wife), Christopher (brother) and Selwyn (father) are custodians of the land for their children and their children’s children. They produce a mix of seed, grain and produce as well as finishing around 14,000 lambs per year.
The family loves to work hard but do things differently to the ‘normal’ arable, sheep and beef farmers. With the exception of Selwyn, the family members all choose to live off-farm so they can prioritise their social lives outside of work. They don’t carry a large array of equipment, choosing instead to use contractors for all their heading, drilling and sheep work (like dagging and drenching), with the knowledge that tying up money in equipment slows land purchase growth. This method of farming means a blanket insurance cover would come with a lot of premium wastage. Having a broker with an understanding of Hollyforts operation was essential to align with the families goals to grow.
“When we first met Sean we had 5 veterinary clinics over the lower South Island and had just had the Canterbury earthquakes. Our insurer had liquidated and we were referred to Sean by our accountant. He was fantastic. He organised cover for us which was not that easy to get at the time!” Gabrielle says.
Peter and Gabrielle have since sold the veterinary clinics to focus on farming and have followed Sean to GSI Insurance. Sean manages the family’s farm, business and private insurance. With such a busy lifestyle it was important to have a connection with someone directly to access immediate cover when required.
“One time I remember driving a new truck off the yard and suddenly thought “oops, insurance!’ In the time it took me to put on my seatbelt Sean had phoned back to say we were covered and to just flick him a few details. Same with claims- Sean always makes claims quick, easy and supports us if the insurance company is being funny about a claim.”
While the business continues to grow, adding to their insurance is easy and quick. Each year the schedule comes goes to Gabrielle, she checks it, goes over it with Sean and gets their premium advice quickly and easily.
“As we are so busy I love it that I can always get hold of Sean, he knows who is on the phone as we have a strong business relationship and answers my questions, gets onto the job asap and we see results. I also feel Sean understands farming well. He knew what I was talking about when I rang to say we have some new irrigator art in the front paddock and talked me through the best way to approach the claim.”