Whether you run a smallholding or a large commercial farm, the right insurance is essential to protect your livelihood. A number of specialist insurers offer farm or agricultural insurance and it falls broadly into three categories: buildings and equipment, liabilities, and livestock.
Protection against perils
Insurance for farm buildings and equipment is a bit like home insurance. So, the policy would pay out if, for example, a fire destroyed the outbuildings of your farm or a flood damaged some of your machinery. Watch out for exclusions, though. Most farm insurance policies cover only specified perils and might exclude escape of water or theft.
You can usually pay an extra premium to extend the cover. Alternatively, you could opt for an 'all risks' policy, though it would almost certainly be more expensive than a standard contract.
If you live on the farm, you can normally include your own home and its contents on your farm insurance policy, so that you only have to deal with one firm and one renewal date.
Standard farm insurance might be more than enough for your business, but you can usually tailor your farm policy to suit your particular needs
Risk to the public
Public liability is a must-have in case someone is injured on a visit to your farm, or you are held responsible for damage to another person's property. The recommended limit for public liability is £5m, which is standard with most farm insurance policies.
Responsibilities as an employer
If you employ anyone on the farm, whether they are full-time, part-time or voluntary, you are legally obliged to take out employer's liability insurance. Employer's liability cover basically protects the policyholder in case an employee is killed or injured as a result of working on the farm.
It might sound improbable, but farms are dangerous places and accidents and fatalities are not as rare as you might hope. The typical limit is £10m, so check the policy details to make sure the cover is adequate.
Farmers should seriously consider environmental liability insurance as they are legally liable for the clean-up costs if they accidentally contaminate the soil or water on their own property, or the surrounding land. Most policies now include as standard environmental liability cover up to £1m, but you should always read the small print, just in case.
Livestock are often the most valuable asset on a farm, so it's worth taking the time to make sure the right insurance is in place in case something goes wrong. Cattle, for example, are prone to diseases such as TB, foot & mouth and brucellosis. There is also the risk of theft and straying. And what about insuring your livestock while they are in transit? You can also arrange specialist cover in case you breed cattle and your animals fail to deliver the goods in terms of a reasonable number of offspring.
Tailor make your policy
Standard farm insurance might be more than enough for your business, but you can usually tailor your farm policy to suit your particular needs. You might, for example, want to take out business interruption insurance so that you would not be left high and dry if the milking machine were to break down or a fire destroyed your wheat crop. You can also usually buy extra insurance in case you have to pay any employees while they are off sick.
Competitive farm insurance quotes
Whatever type of farm insurance you need, you can be sure to find competitive farm insurance quotes if you search for the best deal with Moneysupermarket. Our comparison site is free and independent, saving you time and money.
You can find more details on the MoneySuperMarket non standard home insurance page.