Precision farming tools and guidance systems are now commonplace on most arable units, and even some livestock farms are seeing the benefits, but thieves view these expensive systems as easy pickings, especially when left in fields overnight.
“It is essential that the replacement value of the GPS equipment is included within the insured value of the tractor, combine or sprayer to which it is fitted,” says Paige Dalby of Farmers & Mercantile Insurance Brokers (FMIB).
So if the worst does happen, am I covered by my current insurance or should I change my policy?
“The machine must be insured on a fully comprehensive basis for cover on the GPS equipment to be in place, but even then, different specialist agricultural fleet insurers take a different attitude to insuring it. Some will automatically include it, others will only cover equipment fitted by the manufacturer.”
There is an alternative way of insuring such equipment, which is to specify it on an “all risks” basis on a business combined policy. This is essential for GPS kit that is moved between different machines, and it gives the added benefit of cover being on a reinstatement basis, regardless of age.
Some precision farming systems will be used in conjunction with either a fixed or mobile base station, so with a separate “all risks” policy the base station, which can be valued at £5,000-£20,000, will be covered as well.