* Tractor accidents
MORE tractor accidents are happening late in the day – Harrogate-based Rural Insurance Group is noticing an increasing number of claims for incidents involving tractors hitting immobile property. These tend to be late in the day and could be a feature of farmers and their staff working longer hours – there is a risk management message here, says RIG. The rise in these types of claims corresponds to the fall in employers liability cover as farm jobs are cut, says RIGs Gareth Rushton.
* Diesel spills
Diesel and slurry spills are two of the most common causes of farm pollution claims. Insurance only covers sudden and accidental events, so take care to ensure that all potentially polluting matter is safely stored in compliance with regulations, otherwise you risk having an uninsured incident, warns Peter Danks, a director of Reading Agricultural Consultants.
* Claim turned down
Had a claim turned down? Think it has been unreasonably turned down? You may be able to have another go. Insurance consultants like Farmers & Mercantile, Northampton are doing an increasing amount of work for farmers in just this situation, and who are finding out that the first "no" is not always the final answer from their insurer.
* Christmas thefts
Beware Christmas trade thefts. Those producing for the Christmas market, whether it is turkeys, trees, meat, plants or festive gifts in a farm shop, should be vigilant and take security precautions. Extra insurance cover should also be considered. The cash from these enterprises is vital, but every year thieves take many thousands of pounds worth of such goods from farm sites. Those who trade in poultry all year round tend to have better security arrangements than those who produce solely for the festive market, say insurers. A large barking dog is often one of the most effective precautions, suggests the CLA.
* Watch out for installments
Payment in installments for insurance is not unusual, but some policy holders find that they have unwittingly entered into credit agreements to pay for cover, says Helen Shipsey, legal advisor with the CLA. This may not suit them and could lead to complications if the finance provider fails. Most problems with insurance cover come from a lack of clarity in the wording of policies, says Miss Shipsey. Ask for a clear explanation of installment or payment terms.
* Report those accidents
If you have an accident, for example, a motor accident, and another party is involved but apparently unhurt, you should still report the incident to your insurer, advises the NFU Mutual. This is because personal injury claims are often made months or even years after the event. If a claim is made long after the event and the insurer was not informed at the time the accident happened, they may refuse to pay the claim.