Farm Vehicle Insurance - What Do You Need?

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Farm Vehicle Insurance UK

Running a successful farm requires the help of a huge variety of vehicles, some larger and some smaller. Without them, many farms would struggle to complete their day-to-day activities. However, insuring them is often a complicated business—some of them drive on public roads, some don’t, and the range of sizes and applications can make things very confusing.

This guide will explain everything you need to know about policies available to you, answer common questions and give you some ideas on things to look out for in policy wordings.

Popular Types of Insurance for a Farm Vehicle

Vehicle Insurance

Insuring an agricultural vehicle has many similarities with covering your personal methods of transport. You’ll need to choose the level of insurance—our guide to UK car insurance goes into more detail and who you’d like to be named on the insurance papers (i.e. who is allowed to drive your vehicle).

Farm vehicle insurance comes in three different categories, that you’ll have likely seen when insuring your own vehicles—Third Party Only (TPO), Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT) and Comprehensive. The level you choose will define what you are and aren’t insured for.

Farm equipment is a big investment—a new tractor can easily set you back over £100,000, but even a good used model starts fromaround £20,000 per AutoTrader, so if something does go wrong it can be expensive. A good insurance policy can alleviate the risk if something does go wrong.

Types of Farm Vehicle InsuranceTPO (most basic)TPFTComprehensive (most robust)
Repair if your vehicle is damaged in an accident
red x
red x
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Repairs if your vehicle is damaged in a fire or stolen
red x
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Compensation if other people are injured in an accident
thumbs up
thumbs up
thumbs up
Damage to other people’s property
thumbs up
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Finally, if you have multiple vehicles on your farm then you should consider Fleet Insurance. It can cover multiple vehicles on your farm (even if they’re different types or used for different work) and can keep all your insurances conveniently under one provider, simplifying the process if you do ever need to make a claim.

If you won’t ever be taking your vehicle onto public roads (keeping it exclusively on your property, and never using roads to get from A to B) then you aren’t legally required to insure or tax it—however, many farmers enjoy the peace of mind a good insurance policy offers them, making sure they can still operate if something ever did go wrong.

If you do choose to use your farm vehicle without insuring/taxing it, you’ll need to declare it off the road (SORN). You’ll receive a Statutory Off Road Notification from the DVLA, which lasts indefinitely, and only needs to be updated if you eventually decide to take your vehicle onto the road.

Business Insurance

Public Liability is highly recommended, as farms can be dangerous places—covering you if you ever damage public property. Employers’ Liability is a legal requirement if you hire any staff.

While insuring your vehicles is extremely important as a farm owner, they are only half the story. It’s crucial to make sure you’re aware of what else can go wrong, and to be prepared for all eventualities.

Common Types of Farm Insurance & What They Cover
1.Public LiabilityIf a member of the public is injured or incurs damages as a result of your work
2.Employers' LiabilityCover if an employee (whether full-time or part-time) claims their work for you led to them becoming injured or unwell
3.Personal IncomeFinancial protection if you’re unable to operate due to injury or illness
4.LivestockProtection for your animals from injury, death, disease and more
5.PropertyInsures your property (sheds, plant etc.) if it’s damaged due to an event out of your control (fire, flood etc.)
6.Goods in Transit:Protects your goods while they’re on the move in your vehicle

These will help cover your business from many of the challenges farm owners can face, but that isn’t to say they’re aren’t other forms of business cover that you’ll want to consider, depending on the size and complexity of your operation.

Farm Vehicle Insurance Examples

  • Vehicle Insurance: You’re at fault for a minor accident with someone’s van on public roads. Your Third Party Only insurance covers the compensation due to the van owner, but you’re responsible for the repair of your farm vehicle.
  • Public Liability: You drop a heavy tool on a public pavement and cause damage. The local council sues you for the repairs.
  • Employers’ Liability: An Agricultural Contractor you’ve hired cuts themselves on a trimmer you gave them and believes the tool was faulty. They can’t work for 2 weeks, and sue you for the lost wages.
  • Livestock: A couple of animals in your flock contract a disease and have to be put down. Your Livestock insurance covers your losses.
  • Property: A fire breaks out in one of your sheds. Your property insurance covers the replacing of the shed.
  • Goods in Transit: You’re carrying stock in the back of your van, when you drive through a pothole and damage some of it.

FAQs

Who is insured to drive my farm vehicles?

Like insuring a regular vehicle, you’re required to choose between three options:

  • Insured Driver: The policy holder
  • Insured and Named Driver: Policy holder and anybody the holder has specified to the insurer will be driving
  • Any Driver: Any person over the agreed age (usually 21, 25 or 30)

Insured Driver is best if you operate a small farm or are self-employed, and are unlikely to ever have anybody else drive your vehicle

Insured and Named is great if you have a small operation with regular staff. You’ll save money, compared to an Any Driver policy, as the insurer will be able to confirm the driving history of everyone getting behind the wheel.

Any Driver is best for larger farms with multiple vehicles. If you’re liable to have multiple staff driving vehicles (and it might be difficult to keep track of who is covered for which vehicle) then this is the policy for you. It’ll insure everyone over a certain age (agreed with the insurer) to drive, and you’ll be protected no matter who’s driving.

If you’re not going to be driving your vehicle on public roads, there are still restrictions that apply, especially regarding age. The Government’s guide to agricultural vehicle licenses, tax and fuel covers age restrictions in more detail.

Farm Vehicle insurance providers will be happy to cover most of the vehicles you’d commonly find on farms, whether in an individual vehicle policy or a Fleet insurance to cover multiple vehicles. These could include:

  • Tractors
  • Balers
  • Harvesters
  • Trucks
  • Vans
  • Cars
  • Quad Bikes
  • Motorcycles
  • Loaders
  • Forklifts

The methods you'll be used to to save money on insurance for your personal vehicles are still applicable to Farm Vehicles. These could include things such as:

  • Opting for lower levels of coverage (although our study in the North East for Car insurance found Comprehensive coverage over 2x cheaper than Third Party Only)
  • Compare multiple quotes from multiple providers
  • Pay a higher excess
  • Pay annually instead of monthly
  • Avoid auto-renewing at the end of the year, and compare quotes again
  • Build up a no-claims discount
  • Have no prior criminal convictions or claims made
  • Only insure your vehicle for drivers over a certain age (it'll be cheaper to find a policy for over 30's than over 21's)

Where can I get Farm Vehicle insurance quotes?

Insuring these vehicles can often be confusing, so it’s important to make sure you’re covered by a great provider. Fill out a quote form here, and we’ll connect you with the UK’s leading providers. You’ll have the chance to ask any questions you might have before signing a contract, and create an insurance policy that makes sense for you.

NFU Mutual

NFU’s Farm Vehicle insurance is one of the most popular in the UK, and they’re specialists in supporting those living and operating in rural areas. Have a look at their website and offering if you’d like to know more.

Common Policy Exclusions

  • Uninsured Drivers and Use: If the vehicle is damaged while being driven by somebody not permitted in your schedule then providers won’t cover the costs
  • Intentional Damage: If your insurer feels the vehicle has been damaged intentionally by somebody working for you then they’re unlikely to pay out
  • Assumed Liability: Your insurer may include an exclusion that means they won’t pay out if you’re taking unnecessary risks just because you’re covered (i.e. a risk you wouldn’t have taken in the absence of their policy)
  • Explosives: You won’t be covered if your insurer finds out you’ve been using the vehicle to carry any explosives, such as TNT or dynamite.
Luke Masters

Prior to NimbleFins, Luke studied economics at Brunel University and worked at FreshMinds, Investigo and BMW. His work in data analytics, pricing, strategy and business development helped him write business insurance content to support SMEs at NimbleFins. He now works at DataPOWA, a sports & entertainment data analytics company. Read more on LinkedIn.

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The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.