Are your guidance systems covered?

…be aware that guidance equipment can be a target for thieves.

The use of precision farming tools and guidance systems is now commonplace in larger arable units, and increasingly popular in the livestock sector and smaller farms, but what is the impact on insurance, and what precautions should farmers be making?

“It is essential that the replacement value of the GPS equipment is included within the insured value of the tractor, combine or sprayer to which it is fitted,” explains Nigel Wellings, founding director of independent agriculture insurance broker Farmers & Mercantile (F&M).

“The machine must be insured on a fully comprehensive basis for cover on the GPS equipment to be in place, but even then, different specialist agricultural fleet insurers take a different attitude to insuring it. Some will automatically include it, others will only cover equipment fitted by the manufacturer.”

The alternative way of insuring such equipment is to specify it on an ‘All Risks’ basis on a business combined policy. This is essential for GPS equipment moved between different machines, also giving the added benefit of cover being on a reinstatement basis, regardless of age.

Another important point is that some of the most sophisticated precision farming systems will be used in conjunction with either a fixed or mobile base station. Separate ‘All Risks’ insurance is also required for the base station which can be valued at between £5,000-£20,000.

From a risk management perspective, be aware that guidance equipment can be a target for thieves.

For advice call F&M on 01604 782782.

This article was first published in June’s edition of Crops Magazine.

guidance systems cover