In a recent meeting with Mike O’Donoghue, a farm insurance advisor, I asked him some questions regarding farm insurance, which many West Cork farmers will find very useful.
What should farmers look for in farm insurance?
What farmers must really do before they take out a new farm insurance policy or renew their farm insurance is insist on receiving a full farm audit concentrating on the adequacy of the sums insured and ensuring you have adequate liability cover for employees if applicable. For any farm incorporations you should receive clear direction around cover for farm entities and limited companies. Farmers should also look at the history of claim payments by the insurer because you want an insurance company that will be there for you when you need them.
Your farm insurer should tailor your insurance policy allowing you to protect what is most valuable to you, this will provide peace of mind to you, your family and your business.
What are the key features of a good farm insurance?
You will need to make sure that you have the right policy features for your farm operation, you don’t want a policy where you might have too much or not enough cover for your needs. That is why you should look for an insurance company that can give you a policy that is a perfect fit for your farm to include.
• Fire, storm and other specified events cover on buildings, farm machinery and equipment, bulk milk tanks and associated equipment
• Theft of tools – maximum sum insured €15,000
• Theft of diesel – maximum sum insured €10,000
• Fire brigade charges – up to a limit of €15,000 for any one incident
• Exhibition cover for property insured and specified in your schedule
Sometimes overlooked when seeking farm insurance but this is one of the most important elements of cover you will need to consider.
• Cover available for loss of income and increased cost of working during a business interruption period
• €25,000 additional increased cost of working cover once property damage is rectified or replaced
You will want to protect your family home that you live in so it is important to make sure that you have
• Extended accidental damage cover as standard
• Fire brigade charges as standard
• Freezer contents cover
• Home contents cover
Farm liability and personal accident
It is important to protect yourself for personal accident, hospitalisation cover in case of serious injury or death. If you have paid workers or family members who help out from time to time you would need to seriously consider including the following in your policy.
• Public and product liability
• Employers’ liability
• Farm personal accident cover
Farm agricultural vehicle
Protection for your vehicles that you use to get around your farm isn’t a given with all insurance policies and agriculture equipment cover is so very important to have so that in the case of theft, fire or accidental damage you won’t be out of pocket.
• Trailer and attachments cover either under a comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party only
• Unlimited windscreen cover
Your livestock is one of your most valuable assets so you should look for
• Fire, storm and specified events cover
• Sheep worrying cover is available to sheep farmers up to 28 days after the attack
• Impotence of bulls/rams – accidental injury, illness or disease resulting in impotence
• Theft of livestock
Is there anything else farmers should consider having on their farm insurance for peace of mind?
If you were ever in the position of a claim against you from an injured party then this cover will give you peace of mind
• Legal expense cover
• Farm revenue audits cover
• legal and Counselling advice
Mike, who has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, says the points above are a sample of the main covers that should be provided as part of any farm protection plan.
When you’re looking for the best farm insurance policy, you want to make sure you’re getting the most straightforward cover at the right price that is specific to your farm, and this is where the help of a trusted company and farm insurance agent can help and advise you.
Tom Barry QFA RPA FLIA is a financial consultant with FDC in Skibbereen