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Getting your farm insurance right

Getting the best value from your farm insurance can be a utopian goal and too often feels it can only be achieved by a compromise in cover. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

With over 20 years’ agricultural broking experience and a first-hand understanding of farming, Tim Long at Sole Bay Insurance Brokers suggests some key points you should consider which could save you some money but continue to protect you and your assets:

  • Check whether your inputs are covered by the Business Interruption policy section.
  • Check your fertiliser is insured adequately. If you have to specify a replacement cost, leave plenty of margin to buy it when stocks are low and prices are even higher.
  • Explain to your broker carefully whether you are a contract farmer or a farm contractor and if so, what amount of spraying you undertake. If you farm ‘stubble to stubble’ on another’s land (a contract farmer) this can often be far less expensive to insure than if you are a farm contractor (with or without spraying) on the same amount of land. Ensure your broker understands the difference and is relaying this to the underwriters. Motor insurers will also want to know which vehicles are involved in farm contracting.
  • Long Term Undertakings or Long Term Agreements lock you into an insurer for a given period, prompting a discount. Consider carefully before committing to these, as long-term loyalty to one insurer is rarely considered grounds for paying claims. Be flexible by using an independent broker who can select the best value insurer for you at each renewal.
  • Check whether it is expensive to spread the payments. Independent Finance Companies can make a high charge for spreading premiums and will sometimes do so over six or 10 months rather than 12. This can make the actual cost to finance a premium high. Check the payments and frequency before you agree to finance the premium.
  • Watch out for car and pick-up ownership. Some insurers will automatically add Protected Bonus when you achieve a full No Claims Bonus but some wait to be asked. Ensure you get this included where possible to reduce the financial impact of future claims.
  • Remember you are the customer. Are you happy with your renewal date? Just because it has always been a certain date, consider
    if this is still appropriate. How about the documentation? Do you still want a booklet or do you prefer email, or both? Is documentation clear and easy to understand? If not, say so and see what options there are.
  • Ask for a fee-based broking service. You may find this cheaper or at least allows a degree of transparency.
  • Remember to use an agricultural specialist motor fleet policy where implements and trailers are covered whether attached to the tractor or not.

If you would like a different approach to your farm insurance advice, call Sole Bay Insurance Brokers. Policies vary so to check your cover, refer to your insurer documents.

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