FBD insurance has provided us with some helpful information for farmers affected by Storm Emma.
Check your policy
What you will be covered for will depend largely on what option you have included under your policy.
Where you have the storm peril cover for you farm outbuildings this will cover the collapse of a building due to the weight of snow and the vast majority of FBD customers would have storm cover. The way FBD’s policy is tailored, the option exists for each farmer to select or deselect the various coverage. It is down to the individual farmer to decide on the level of cover they need for their farm as some will be more risk adverse than others.
The insurance farmers can get for their sheds covers storm, fire, lightening and explosion damage. Included in this is the cost of removing the debris, which can be substantial. There is also cover for fees relating to the reinstatement of the sheds including architects, surveyors, consultants and legal fees.
Farmers can make emergency repairs to their buildings, but should take great care to avoid injury. If there are emergency repairs to be made farmers should get a contractor to do it. You can use a contractor of your choosing but it is important to make sure that they are insured and if you are unsure then contact your insurer who can check.
Before any work is carried out you need to take photographs and keep any damaged materials so that your insurer can inspect them afterwards but absolutely make necessary emergency repairs.
Dairy equipment cover
If damage has been done dairy equipment over the past week, it is worth checking your policy to see if the repairs are covered.
Some farmers may have an all risks cover for bulk tanks and associated equipment. Frost damage would be included here; in addition a cover option is also available for loss of milk due to deterioration of milk. This would be applicable where there was an electricity outage in an area and where there is a failure of any thermostatic or automatic controlling devices occurred which lead to milk going sour and had to be thrown out. It also covers the pipes and associated equipment that is connected to the bulk tank. In addition to that if someone has taken out computerised milking equipment cover that too covers frost damage.
One cover that FBD has that farmers should be more aware of and may be applicable to some farmers over the past number of days is loss of income cover. If there was damage to your milking parlour, which was insured on your policy and which resulted in a property claim, the additional cost incurred to get equipment in to get cows milked or the loss of income would be a valid under this cover option.
Many farmers encountered issues in relation to collection of milk and subsequent capacity difficulties – if the milk lorry cannot access the farm to collect the milk, that is not something that is covered under your farm insurance policy.
Other issues that farmers have experienced over the past few days include a loss of livestock and a series of burst pipes throughout yards.
Repairs to burst pipes are not covered by the policy, neither are works if a farmer has to dig up a shed to get to pipes. As you know it is important that water pipes are put down at the correct depth when being installed in the first instance.
Certain cover exists for livestock. Storm cover is available for livestock, flood cover and electrocution cover is also available.
Again, when it comes to farmers being covered for the damage that has occurred to machinery it will depend on the type of policy held by the farmer. However, there is cover available for implements and utensils and farm machinery with farmers often choosing particular equipment that they wish to insure.
How long do I have to wait?
One question that farmers will be asking is how long they will have to wait for compensation relating to a claim. The majority of straight forward claims will be paid within 10 days of getting the quotation or invoice. FBD has a large number of adjusters out on the ground ready to go. Where delays can occur, especially in events like this, is getting access to the farm. How quickly we can get a claims adjustor on site to provide a quote can increase the time.
FDB recognises the hardship that farmers are going through and we will try and settle our claims quickly and fairly, and has a track record in doing so. If a farmer has any concern, FBD is encouraging them to make contact during extended business opening hours.
The whole area of farm safety is of paramount importance so if you are looking to make an emergency repair take care and be vigilant.
It is important that farmers take the time to review their cover in light of these type of events and make sure it is adequate going forward.