Insuring against turbulent times
For a number of reasons, the start to 2021 has been a somewhat turbulent and uncertain one for farmers with surges in the price of steel and timber and difficulties with some imports to volatility in the price of livestock.
The global pandemic has been blamed for an increase in the price of steel as some mills experience major reductions in capacity due to covid-linked staff shortages.
As this leads to supply issues, it’s predicted some farm machinery could cost up to 6% more – a significant increase on a piece of equipment already costing tens of thousands of pounds.
Elsewhere, farmers have seen good increases in the prices their animals are achieving at sales.
Finished lamb prices are at record levels with trade up at least £30 per head on this period last year. Trade at both marts and factories are reported as strong and the predictions seem to indicate this is set to continue for the short term at least.
Demand for store cattle also continues to remain high and all cattle, particularly dairy and beef breeding stock are selling extremely well.
The LMC said imports for direct slaughter were back by 895 head in January 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. This reduction in the number of animals being imported into Northern Ireland is having an impact on the price for local farmers.
Meanwhile the issues around importing into Northern Ireland extends to machinery.
DAERA states all used machinery is prohibited entry into Northern Ireland unless it has been cleaned free of all contaminants prior to shipping and stored and carried in a manner that precludes recontamination.
Every item of used machinery must be free of contamination by any: animals, insects or other invertebrates, or any organic material of animal origin, plants or plant products soil or water.
This legislation is making it more difficult for machinery and parts, especially second-hand, to be imported into Northern Ireland which could have an impact on supply and price.
Insurance for agricultural vehicles is based on the vehicle value (sum insured). It is important that farmers review the values declared on vehicles such as tractors and telehandlers so that the insured value reflects the market price. Otherwise, in the event of a total loss, the claim amount may fall short of the true vehicle value.
It is great to see livestock selling well and hopefully leaving farmers an improved profit margin in the year ahead. From an insurance perspective, the increased price for livestock does need to be considered and it may be necessary for farmers to increase the insurance valuation of their herds to reflect market increases.
A Farm Combined policy will cover your farming property including items of machinery and plant, farm buildings, silage, straw and feedstuffs, farming equipment and tools and dairy equipment. It is designed to cover all farming activities, bringing together everything from home and contents to farm liability conveniently into one policy.
Within the various policy sections, different elements of cover can be selected, so you can adjust your level of protection to suit your individual needs.
As Northern Ireland’s largest insurance broker, AbbeyAutoline can connect you with our panel of agricultural insurers from across the UK. We work extensively with these insurers getting thousands of our customers the best deals every single day.
Our dedicated farm team can tailor a policy to suit your needs and with branches across Northern Ireland our teams are never far away when you need us most.
To find out more about how the team at AbbeyAutoline can help you, visit www.abbeyautoline.co.uk.