13 November 1998

Insurance set to increase 5%

FARM insurance costs are set to rise by an average of 5% next year, says John Kaye, of CGU Insurance.

But well-run, low risk businesses will pay lower premiums, he adds. "Improvements in the running of a farm clearly reflect in an overall improvement in the number of incidents, and, therefore, the number of insurance claims."

Certification of electrical installations and wiring, improved anti-theft measures, regular equipment checks and compliance with HSE requirements all help to reduce risk, he says.

Through FarmWeb, which acts for 60 insurance agents across the country, the company will offer tailored policies to reward low risk farmers. It believes the move will raise its agricultural market share from 13% to 20% within four years.

Liability is the most volatile insurance area, says Mr Blackburn. Fatalities rose 40% in 1997 compared with 1996, while right to roam will increase third party contact with farms, and easier product traceability could also lead to more claims. &#42