Business Clinic: Bull warranty – do I need extra insurance?

Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts offer free advice on legal, finance, tax, insurance, farm management and land issues. Here Janet Corrin, NFU Mutual’s livestock insurance specialist, explains what’s covered by a bull warranty.

Q: I bought a bull at the October sales. Will the bull breeder’s warranty cover any costs if my newly purchased bull is ill or dies – or do I need to insure it myself?

A: If a farmer buys a bull at a pedigree society sale then the bull breeder warranty is in place. This is the breeder’s guarantee that the bull is capable of and effective at natural service.

However, this doesn’t cover the bull becoming unable to work due to an accident or illness that happens after its arrival at its new home and which has affected its capability or fertility.

See also: Help to avoid health and safety farm fines

It is a common misunderstanding to think that the bull breeder warranty picks up anything which affects the bull’s ability to “do the job” and one which can lead to buyers being seriously out of pocket.

Janet Corrin, livestock insurance specialist, NFU Mutual

Bull insurance claims are more or less equally split between loss of use, physical injury and disease – most of which can potentially be insured.

A loss of animal/loss of use insurance can protect your investment in a bull should it suffer an accident, illness, or loss of use.

This type of cover will pay out if the bull dies or has to be slaughtered on humane grounds from disease or accident (excluding slaughter on government order).

It also covers theft, straying and death or injury while the animal is in transit. Many will also cover permanent loss of use.

However, policies vary between insurers so it is important to ask at the time of booking cover exactly what risks are included.

Premiums are usually based on age and value, so typically cover for an 18-month-old worth £6,000 would cost around £800 (including insurance premium tax) for a year.

Bull sellers sometimes offer cover in addition to the breeder’s warranty. Where this is the case, ask to see the paperwork so that you can check what this covers, as these schemes also vary widely between insurers.

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