Farmers Weekly business expert Nigel Wellings gives advice on farm insurance cover for compensation following an accident.
Q: A neighbour of mine broke his leg just prior to harvest and was unable to work. This cost him several thousand pounds in additional labour costs. Will my farm insurance cover me for this additional labour in this type of situation?
A: In order to have cover for compensation for yourself following an accident, you will need to have a personal accident policy. In practice no more than 10-20% of farmers have this cover at the moment.
Most farmers will have spent time making sure they adequately insure their stock, farm buildings, crops and machinery, but it’s surprising how often we find that they’ve forgotten to insure themselves.
See also: Employer liability insurance advice
On many farms the farmer does a large amount of the day-to-day work. If he were to have an accident such as breaking a bone or pulling a muscle in his back, there is rarely a contingency plan in place.
Given that working alone poses more of a threat of accidental injury, personal accident cover is a good solution.
A good personal accident policy will provide 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week cover, no matter what you are doing, whether on or off farm. The policy will pay out anything between £100/week and £1,000/week, depending on the nominated amount.
Most insurers will limit the benefit to the cost of employing replacement labour.
In the event that you have an accident and you cannot carry out your daily duties on the farm, the policy will pay out the nominated compensation for up to 104 weeks. The idea of this payment is to enable you to employ someone else to carry on your practical farm work.
Personal accident policies cover accident only, but can often be extended to cover illness as well. Illness cover is generally about twice the cost of accident cover, so careful consideration needs to be given as to whether illness cover is required.
The accident policy, as well as giving a weekly benefit, will also pay out a lump sum for events such as loss of limbs, eyes, ears and permanent disablement. These are also important benefits in the event of a serious accident.
It is surprising how frequently we see claims on this sort of policy, and for most farms it is of paramount importance that the farmer has such cover in place and does not suffer financial hardship due to having an accident.
The information provided in these articles does not constitute definitive professional advice and is provided for general information purposes only.
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