Small or large, farms come in all shapes and sizes and all require at least one form or another of farm insurance to fully protect their business, farm, and livestock. Farm insurance provides essential security for the multitude of components that constitute a working farm, ensuring farmers’ livelihood and assets are protected and insured.
As there are so many different types of farms in the UK, sometimes specialist farm insurance is what is needed and so careful consideration must be given to each farm. Farm insurance policies include:
- Dairy farm insurance
- Arable farm insurance
- Livestock insurance
- Farm equipment insurance
Because the precise components of each farm may vary, it is important to acquire an insurance policy that is specifically tailored to your farm. Unlike many everyday insurances which have a broad scope of coverage, when it comes to farms, the needs and requirements of each type of farm are different and these needs and their assets need to be covered.
A farmer running a livestock business will have different requirements to a dairy farmer for example. Equipment and tools on the farm in question will also vary from case to case and this is important to remember. One farm may for example require straw spreading equipment with another requiring cattle crush equipment and so on.
What Does Farm Insurance Cover?
Also known as ‘agricultural insurance,’ farm insurance is typically provided in the form of a package specifically tailored and personalised to each farming business.
Although personalised and dependent on the size, nature and components of a farm, the insurance policy itself usually offers cover for some standard agricultural features such as:
- Property Cover – Covering the damage of farm properties from incidents such as fire, collapse of building, vandalism, theft, transportation, flooding and water ruptures. This includes cover for other essential features of the farm including deadstock, machinery, home buildings on the farm and their relative contents, farm buildings and properties which may be let on the farm
- Environmental Pollution – Farms by their very nature, are host to potentially harmful chemicals and pollutants including pesticides and red-diesel to name but a few. Many farm insurance policies will at least to some extent cover damage to property as a result of incidents such as fuel and chemical spills. The insurance for this means the farm is reimbursed for the amount of the property that is destroyed and potentially costs incurred due to loss of otherwise essential chemicals
- Livestock – Covers damage to various types of livestock, including chicken, cows, pigs and others that must have been specified when applying for a farm insurance policy. The insurance covers many causes of loss of livestock, dependent on the type of package; fundamental causes included in most packages include flood loss and damage, theft of livestock, livestock attacked by a wild animal or animals, drowning of livestock and incidents of accidental shooting
- Employers Liability – Covers workers under the employment of the farm with regards to injuries or illness as a direct cause of the work
- Public Liability Cover – This coverage will cover property damage to the farm caused by the general public and injuries sustained by the public and visitors on or directly due to the farm. Examples include medical payments for those injured on the farm, or reimbursement for accidental damage done to the farm
- Products in Transit – Coverage of this nature will likely include damage sustained to livestock and other farm goods during transport. For example, a traffic accident resulting in the death or escape of livestock inside the container vehicle
- Product Liabilities – If a consumer becomes injured or falls ill due to a product of the farm, product liability insurance provides protection against the damage done to consumers from said product and could cover some or even all of the legal costs if incurred
- Accident Insurance – This will entail financial cover for a farmer’s family if they are injured or killed through their work on the farm of as a result of work being undertaken on the farm
- Farm Produce – Covers damage done to produce of the farm, which is likely to include the likes of grain, hay and straw, which may for example be damaged by a collapse of a building, vandalism and theft
- Diversification – This level of cover is specific to modern farms departing from conventional agricultural methods and moving towards new farming methods and farm business practices such as renewable energy, wind turbines and holiday lets. Farm insurance can be tailored to the specific risks associated with this modern line of farm production.
A key example of farm insurance packages which may include various categories and levels of cover are NFU Mutual’s ‘Farm Select’ and ‘Farm Essentials’ packages. These two respective packages offer agricultural bundles for both large and small farms alike, tailored to both the needs of over and under 50-hectare businesses. Importantly, prevention of issues which may otherwise require invoking your insurance cover is better than cure to cover issues thereafter. Therefore, an effective health and safety policy for your farm is essential.
Will Farm Insurance Cover my Work Vehicles?
Unfortunately, although extensive and diverse in what agricultural insurance packages can offer, the insurance for farm vehicles is something which typically has to be applied for independent of most other farm assets. This will usually need to be done with familiar providers, offering farm-vehicle and tractor insurance.
As with the standard farm insurance packages, agricultural vehicle insurance packages are also diverse, with two basic farm vehicle insurance packages including:
- Agricultural Vehicle Insurance – Covers most agricultural vehicles including quad bikes, combine harvesters, balers and tractors. This insurance can include such covers as up to £500,000 for trailers including those of livestock and horse. If any vehicle less than a year old is stolen or written off it can be replaced with a brand new one
- Vintage Agricultural Vehicle Insurance – Covers vehicles 25 years old and over, this insurance protects against damage done to the vintage vehicle and loss of accessories and/or spare parts, cover of ‘Goods in Transit’ of £1000 max, and cover for additional drivers, that is provided they have the correct licence for such vehicle