Martin O’Sullivan: How to get your farm insurance in order

When the Annual Agriculture Insurance Policy Renewal Notice arrives at the doorstep, many of us simply pay the due amount and never question whether the policy is still fit for the purpose or not.

E may be paying too much because there are more competitive providers in the market, or we may be paying too little because we are underinsured.

To blame for the former is simply poor financial management. Being guilty of the latter can have dire consequences.

While agricultural insurance is often considered unnecessarily complicated, it can be simplified to two things: protecting other people if you cause them harm (liability); and protect your property.

public liability insurance

It refers to the insurance that will protect the public in case of injury or loss due to the negligence of the farmer.

The key to this is the word carefree. It must be the fault of the farmer to pay for this insurance on his behalf.

The public is everyone outside your family or an employee. Agricultural contractors are not employees.

Agricultural accidents are very common and can lay claim for compensation against many farmers, so it is imperative that your policy has adequate cover to cover a very important claim.

I have come across cases where there was not enough cover to meet the full extent of compensation being sought in agricultural accident cases. Such a situation may endanger the very existence of the farm.

employers Liability Insurance

It is similar to public liability except that it protects employees rather than the general public. The term employee includes a neighbor who gives you a hand even though they are not being paid.

Cover can be available for both family and non-family workers. Some policies will also cover voluntary helpers.

Sometimes there can be a gray area between an employee or a contractor. Although it can be complicated, the rule of thumb is that if you pay someone a certain price, they are most likely to be a contractor, but if you pay them for their time, they will. Most likely an employee.

Regardless, a farmer would need both the public and the employer’s liability to cover both.

environmental damage insurance

This is an important cover that many farmers are not even aware of that is missing from their policy. This includes environmental damage and associated cleanup costs.

Without including this in their policy, farmers are not covered for gradual pollution from slurry tanks or oil tanks.

Public liability will cover you if the wall of a slurry tank suddenly collapses, but will not cover you through a cracked wall if it drips slowly. For this you need environmental damage cover.

other types of cover

These are some other cover items that will apply to many farms. With some specialist enterprises, you may need to notify the insurer.

Farm-dwelling houses and farm outbuildings – Cover should cover materials, storm damage and fire brigade charges and incidental damages.

Tractors and agricultural vehicles – cover for accidents and theft

Legal Expenses – Cover for issues such as property disputes, alleged wrongful dismissal of employees or contract disagreements.

Theft – Cover for stock, diesel and equipment.

Expert Equipment – Covers all exposures for Expert Equipment, including AI Flask, Camera, Tackle, Trailer, Calving Camera.

Sheep Care – Protecting your flock of sheep from fatal injury caused by a dog attack.

Pedigree Livestock – Cover for death or infertility.

Loss of Milk – Cover for loss due to failure or loss of power or accidental contamination.

Forestry – cover for storm and re-establishment cover, and fire cover.

building new facilities

Many farmers will use different contractors for different parts of the building work – one for shuttering, one for steel, one for electric, etc. In these cases, you become the project manager and you are responsible for the overall insurance. Work.

Some insurers will accommodate building work on an agricultural policy, but some will not. Check it out before you commit because you don’t want to be with such a huge risk for a high risk job.

having low insurance

It is important that you inform your insurer or broker of any new building or equipment because if the insured value is less than the replacement cost, you may only get partially compensated in the event of a claim.

cost of insurance

The table below sets out a quote we recently received from a principal underwriter for a specific 90ac form. The bid was €1,755; It does not include motor vehicle cover.

Shop now as agriculture insurance is quite competitive at present.

Martin O’Sullivan is the author of the ACA Farmers Handbook and an agribusiness and tax consultant based in Carrick-on-Suire; www.som.ie