There’s never a quiet time on the farm, so it’s easy to put off desk work like shopping around for agricultural land insurance. But if you don’t take this time you could be spending much more than you need to. To make it easier, and to save you money, we’ve put together this guide. Use it to find out which cover you do and don’t need and how to secure the best price quickly and easily.
What types of cover do you need to consider?
Every estate, farm, or small-holding will have different insurance needs. We’ve listed some of the most common areas of insurance for landowners so you can identify what is relevant for you.
1) Public liability insurance
A major concern for most landowners is what will happen if someone is injured on their land and they’re sued. Public liability insurance gives you peace of mind that if anything happens on the land and someone is hurt or property is damaged, your legal bills will be paid.
When you’re buying your insurance you’ll need to decide how high you want your indemnity to be. Your indemnity is the maximum amount that the insurer will pay out if there is a claim (or multiple claims if more than one person is injured). Indemnities are typically offered at £1 million, £2 million, or £5 million. That may seem like a lot, but bear in mind this needs to cover legal fees to defend a case as well as any compensation payouts. Take a look below to discover how much can be awarded to an individual according to Accident Claim Advice:
- Major damage to the head and brain can result in compensation that is upwards of £200,000.
- Compensation for back injury can be around £20,000, with payment for the most severe injuries amounting to over £100,000.
- Permanent disability or loss of arms or hands can result in compensation of around £160,000.
- Loss of sight can lead to compensation over £200,000.
- A severe foot injury can lead to compensation of up to £160,000.
- A severe leg injury can mean compensation of over £220,000.
You should calculate your indemnity based on the size of your land and any risky features on it, such as water or derelict buildings. If you’re not sure, talk to your insurance broker who can guide you.
- Always tell your insurance company or broker about any public access rights such as footpaths on the land as failure to do so could invalidate a policy.
- Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you have no public access, you don’t need public liability insurance. You have to protect the public from injury by law. So if you can’t prove you weren’t negligent, you can be found to be liable.
- If you run a horse-riding business on the land you must hold public liability insurance by law.
- Regularly check large trees or structures on your land to check they are in good order. This maintenance can help you to avoid claims, which can lead to higher premiums in the future.
Robust public liability insurance won’t just protect you financially – it also removes the potential headache that comes with dealing with a claim. If someone does sue you, your insurance company will normally take control so you can get back to your everyday work.
2) Buildings and structures insurance
If you have any buildings on your land, such as barns or field shelters, you can insure them against damage. Bear in mind that if these are listed or have a special construction, such as cob, this could increase your premium as they will be more costly to fix or replace.
For comprehensive peace of mind make sure that items such as fencing and gates are also covered. Check the policy wording to ensure this includes storm damage and vandalism.
3) Agricultural equipment
When you buy your agricultural land insurance you can save money if you take out other related insurance at the same time. Your essential farm equipment, like quad bikes and tractors, are a prime target for thieves. They’re also essential for the day-to-day running of the farm. Insurance gives you peace of mind you can replace them quickly if they are stolen or damaged. This can also be extended to cover vintage agricultural equipment if needed.
4) Employer’s liability insurance
If you employ anyone to work on your land, even if they are part-time or seasonal workers, you’ll need to have employer’s liability insurance. If you don’t, you can be fined. Employer’s liability insurance is like public liability insurance but designed specifically for your employees. It pays out your legal costs if anyone is injured or property is damaged by something connected to your land.
5) Livestock insurance
Protect your investment in livestock. Look for cover against theft and disease for comprehensive peace of mind.
6) Environmental liability
Covers you if something to do with your land pollutes property or the environment.
Shopping for cover
Once you’ve decided what insurance you need, it’s time to try and find cover at the best price. The very best way to do this is to shop around. As a specialist area, you’re unlikely to find it offered on a price comparison website. Instead, ring around as many reputable insurance companies as you can or use an insurance broker to do the legwork for you.
Our dedicated agriculture team at Park Insurance understand your specific needs no matter how large or small your farm, estate or small-holding. We can advise you on different areas of cover and help you to put together a bespoke package at a value for money price. Call us on 0117 955 6835 or fill in the online form.
- Beware of agricultural land insurance that is very cheap. If it seems too good to be true it probably is. Even if you’re only getting a modest saving, read the small print very carefully. This way you can to check for exclusions that leave you underinsured. Alternatively, ask your insurance broker to double-check the policy to make sure you are buying the level of insurance cover that you expect.
- Remember, the reason you take out insurance in the first place is to save you from future big bills. A few pounds saved now are little use in the long run if you find yourself without the cover you need.