By Sam Fortescue

 FARM BUSINESSES could save 15-25% on premiums if they use a newly launched integrated insurance package, broker La Playa has claimed.

The Cambs-based firm said it is the first to offer insurance cover that is linked directly to the safety and risk management standards being applied by a client. It is aimed particularly at large-scale farm businesses, rural estates and contract farm managers.

 “As farm businesses diversify, owners are exposed to a range of new risks, and the courts are dealing very harshly with anyone who has not addressed the safety issues surrounding safe working practices, safety of visitors and so on,” said Douglas Brown, head of La Playa”s new farms and estates division.

 “Where businesses are operated to high professional standards and observing high standards of health and safety, as well as risk avoidance, underwriters will recognise those standards with lower premiums.

 “The aim is to begin with a comprehensive review, but then keep the ongoing business of maintaining insurance cover to a minimum. The clients we aim to service want to focus on running their business, not worrying about the detail.”

 The review and staff training package offered by La Playa would cost an average large farm business 3500 for three years, the firm said. It means that insurance costs would have to exceed 5000-7500/year for clients to benefit from the reduced premiums.

 welcome

 Mike Churcher, agricultural business manager for Lloyds TSB, said he welcomed the launch of a product that would improve farmers” understanding of risk.

 “The prime issue for us is the profitability of the farm, but secondary to that are the risks that affect profits, and we”d want to explore those with a client.”

sam.fortescue@rbi.co.uk