Summer work is certainly well underway across Northern Ireland farms.
Due to the distances that farmers have to travel to conacre land and the demands on their time to complete field work, farmers have less opportunity to keep a check on their livestock. One of the concerns that farmers have, is the increased risk of loss of livestock through theft, fatal injury to animals in transit or the potential for damage caused by their animals straying onto third party property such as trampling a neighbour’s lawn.
The good news is that all of these elements of risk can easily be provided for under a Farm Insurance policy to provide peace of mind for the farmer, letting them get on with the running of their farm business. Covers for livestock theft, transit, fatal injury on and off the premises or public liability are all available and at competitive premiums.
A major factor in the settlement of any farm claim is the adequacy of the sums insured. It is essential that the sums insured for farm buildings, livestock and other property are regularly reviewed to prevent underinsurance. Failure to maintain correct sums insured is one of the main reasons for claims not being paid in full. For example, a farmer insures his sheds for £100,000 but the correct value is £200,000. If the farmer has a claim for £30,000 of damage he may presume that this will be paid in full as it is well below the insured value of £100,000. However, what can result is that as the farmer only insured 50% of the value of the buildings (and was therefore only paying 50% of the premium required), the insurance company may only pay 50% of the claim. So in this instance,, the farmer may only receive £15,000 as a claim settlement leaving the farm business to find the remaining £15,000. This insurance principle is called ‘average’ and applies to most property insurance.
This principle also applies to livestock cover. Insurers allow some tolerance under this principle for livestock, as they understand that livestock numbers and values fluctuate during the year. Nevertheless, it is still important that livestock sums insured reflect the maximum total value on the farm at any time.
At Autoline, we offer farmers a range of products to suit their individual needs and we would be delighted to have the opportunity to discuss your insurance requirements. On many occasions, we have found that farmers have gaps in their existing farm insurance covers or have not reviewed the sums insured on their property/livestock, which may lead to an inadequate claim settlement.
At Autoline, we have Farm Commercial Teams in our five offices across the province that can offer help and advice to make sure that your farm policy meets the needs of your farm business. Why not call us, drop into any of our offices, or click autoline.co.uk to see how we can help.