sheep on the run

Businesses at risk from too little insurance

…yet only a third had reviewed insurance policies at renewal.

Farmers are leaving themselves open to risk and potentially losing money by not reviewing insurance policies when businesses change. With the skill-set for British farming changing, alongside the integration of precision, or digital farming, traditional farm practices are evolving and developing.

An increasing reliance on diversifications contributed to this changing farming landscape and updating insurance policies can easily be overlook, a new report has highlighted.

A survey conducted by agricultural insurance brokers, Farmers & Mercantile, revealed that almost a quarter of farmers questioned had recently changed their farming business, yet only a third had reviewed insurance policies at renewal.

Farmers & Mercantile on-farm account executive Sarah Verity said this exposed a concern the original purpose of the policies taken out no longer served the business’ needs.

She said: “Not only could crucial aspects of the farm or diversified business be under-insured, farmers could be throwing money away insuring for activities no longer undertaken, or machinery not in use.”

Recent amendments to agricultural property law, as well as changes to the limits on personal injury claims, highlight the risks of exposure if suitable advice and cover is not in place, she added.

In many cases, more suitable cover could be provided by a simple amendment or extension to an existing farm policy, as had been the case following the rise in livestock attacks. More farmers have been adding sheep worrying cover as an extension to their farm policy, while other substantial changes may need separate policies.

“Although there is no protection for the emotional losses, having sheep worrying cover on a farm insurance policy will at least negate the loss of income,” said Mrs Verity.

“It is crucial the farmer keeps the insurer informed,” she said, adding it was easy to overlook certain changes – and farmers needed to allow regular reviews and site visits to ensure they were fully covered.

Sarah Longster, Farmers & Mercantile – Article first appeared in Farmers GuardianSarah Longster