Sunset over farm

Farming Insurance

At NFU Mutual we’ve been proudly serving the farming community for over 100 years – and we continue to do so during these challenging and unprecedented times.

We understand that this is an incredibly difficult period for many of our farming members, as the whole of the UK is affected by Coronavirus and the subsequent impact of restrictions to movement.

With this in mind, we’ve produced this page in order to provide information and advice for our farming policyholders.

If you’re worried about your situation, and can’t find your answer here, then remember your local Agency or Mutual Direct are here to help.

We believe the Chancellor was referring to the Human Disease extension that may be added to Business Interruption policies.

With regards to our Farm Select and Farm Essentials policies, we use a standard market  approach of offering a Human Diseases extension. This provides cover for human diseases if a farm is required to close for a specified list of diseases. COVID-19 is not included on this list.

We use a definite approach of naming individual diseases, rather than referring to notifiable diseases, because generally we cannot cover risks that we’re unable to suitably assess.

You can read the official statement from the Association of British Insurers, which summarises the insurance industry’s position on COVID-19.

In line with market practice, COVID-19 isn’t specified as a covered disease in our policy wording.

You can read the official statement from the Association of British Insurers, which summarises the insurance industry’s position on COVID-19.

Yes, it’s possible to add this extension. However, there is no cover for COVID-19 under this extension, and there is no intention to add cover for COVID-19 to this extension.

Your policy has an exclusion under the Accidental Damage cover that excludes all pollution or contamination of property.

In line with UK market practice, our standard Business Interruption cover usually requires damage to your farm, such as storms or fires, in order to be triggered - meaning the majority of customers will not be covered for COVID-19.

Global pandemics such as Coronavirus, which affect the whole population, require societal solutions and larger financial packages from authorities and Governments, rather than cover from insurers, who underwrite assessible risks.

This is something the UK Government is aware of. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, acknowledged many businesses wouldn’t be insured when he announced his £330bn Government support package for businesses.

If interruption to your farm is not covered by your insurance policy, we would advise customers seek out the Government’s package of support for businesses.

For the Business Interruption cover to operate there must be a valid material damage claim. In the example given, there would have been no physical damage to the farm – such as damage caused by storms or fires, and there is no insured peril in operation.

You don’t need to do anything differently or let us know. Provided that the Public / Products Liability section is active on your policy, selling your farm’s produce direct to the public or in a temporary shop is covered as standard on Farm Select and Farm Essentials insurance policies, for own goods sold as a “farmer”.

Yes, if your farm shop and café are insured under your Farm Select policy, or you have a separate commercial policy, then your home delivery and take away enterprises will be covered. This is because your new endeavours are directly related to your normal business activity. There is no need to amend the business description.

This scenario may affect lots of farms and businesses, with many adapting to the current situation by offering to deliver their produce to customers. This helps businesses to continue trading and provides welcome support in local communities.

Please remember to check necessary controls are in place and risk assessments have been undertaken, such as precautions to ensure perishable goods are kept appropriately e.g. heated/chilled.

Yes, if the correct class of business use has been selected, including for those drivers involved, then in many cases your existing policy will cover this.

If new drivers need to be added or the business use on the policy needs to be amended, policies can be updated as necessary, however we will apply our existing acceptance criteria for additional young driver risks.

If employees are asked to use their own vehicles to carry out home deliveries, they must be told to ensure they have cover for this under their own personal motor insurance policy, as this is not covered under our motor policy.

Yes, during this period, when your business is temporarily providing home deliveries, if alternatives to cash payments aren’t possible, we will disregard Exclusion 2c and treat cash payments for home deliveries in the same way as we would trips to and from your bank.

Where possible, an alternative to cash should be used, such as electronic payment methods. Cover for any money (in your or your employees’ possession) whilst away from the premises is normally only intended for journeys to and from the bank.

However, you need to be aware that the cover for cash away from your premises is limited and you should refer to the Carryings Warranty in the Money Section of your policy. For example, any cash carried in excess of £5,000 needs to be accompanied by two adults. You may also need to consider Goods in Transit insurance, if it is not already included in your policy, to cover the produce you are now delivering to your customers.

Where any premises are temporarily unoccupied because of the Coronavirus outbreak, we won’t restrict cover from the time the unoccupancy starts, until such time as the restrictions on premises being used or occupied are lifted. This is subject to you applying reasonable endeavours to manage your premises, including appropriate security measures. Weekly inspections should only be undertaken where it is safe and practical to do so, and Government guidance is being followed.

Most of our products have unoccupancy conditions that set out the actions you need to undertake while your business premises are unoccupied.

You don’t need to notify us of the unoccupancy, where it occurs as a result of the Coronavirus. This amended approach will apply for the 90 days from 24th March 2020.

The Employers' Liability Insurance Act requires that all businesses with employees have Employers' Liability insurance in force. An individual who is furloughed retains their employment rights and normal employment law will apply for all employees. The employment contractual relationship remains in place and therefore Employers' Liability must be maintained.

Guidance in respect of the Governments job retention scheme can be found here.  

DAS (NFU Mutual’s Legal Expenses cover providers) have also updated their website with FAQs here.

Where a customer requests a mid-term premium adjustment to reflect reduced exposures, directly linked to the Coronavirus outbreak, we will accept this request where the change is material (which we define as more than 25% reduction in turnover, wage roll, or stock levels).

If you have a Group Personal Accident or Personal Accident extension, then we have taken the decision to pay out if individuals or employees are incapacitated by the Virus. We will also allow customers to add this extension to new and existing policies.

NFU Mutual will pay for an illness which, within 104 weeks of its diagnosis by a doctor, is the sole and direct cause of temporary total disability. NFU Mutual will not pay for the deferment period as stated on your schedule.

NHS Direct have advised anyone with symptoms of Coronavirus to self-isolate for seven days. If your symptoms persist after this and / or worsen during, you should contact NHS Direct who may refer you for testing for COVID-19. If your tests are positive and you continue to be temporarily totally disabled, we can look to consider a claim.

If you are not referred to a medical centre for treatment, NHS Direct can issue a sick note for validation. This should be requested following your deferment period as stated on your schedule.

Before you make a claim under your Personal Accident / Group Personal Accident policy, please consider the following restrictions:

  • We will not cover you for an illness which appears within 21 days of the start of your Personal Accident cover, unless you can prove that you had previous continuous insurance for it
  • We will not cover an illness of an insured person under 16 or over 65 years of age unless individually named on your schedule
  • We will not cover an accident or illness consequent upon or contributed to by any pre-existing physical or mental defect or infirmity
  • We will not cover an accident or illness which appears before the start of this section or any subsequent renewal
  • We will not cover you if you have failed to follow proper medical advice, the condition is self-inflicted, related to drug or alcohol abuse, or is a result of a specified dangerous sport (full list available upon request).

NFU Mutual will pay for an illness which, within 104 weeks of diagnosis by a doctor, is the sole and direct cause of temporary total disability. As you are not showing any symptoms of an illness, we will be unable to consider a claim.

NFU Mutual will pay for an illness which, within 104 weeks of diagnosis by a doctor, is the sole and direct cause of temporary total disability. As you are not showing any symptoms of an illness, we will be unable to consider a claim.

NFU Mutual will pay for an illness which, within 104 weeks of diagnosis by a doctor, is the sole and direct cause of temporary total disability. As you are not showing any symptoms of an illness, we will be unable to consider a claim.

Yes, insurance cover will continue to be valid, and no claim will be refused solely on the grounds of the MOT having expired as a direct result of the restrictions imposed due to Coronavirus.

The DVLA has suspended MOTs for all HGVs and PSVs for up to three months, from 21st March 2020. All HGV and PSV vehicles with a MOT will be issued with a three-month certificate of temporary exemption (CTE) until further notice. Vehicles must be maintained, kept roadworthy and continue to operate within the terms of operators’ licence conditions. Full details can be found here.

Similar measures have been taken in Northern Ireland by the DVA to suspend tests for three months. Details can be found here.

Yes, inspections of equipment are still required by law. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have stated there won’t be any extension to inspection deadlines and these must still be carried out during National Lockdown. If the HSE find employers are being negligent of carrying out inspection or maintenance activity, there may be penalties for the customer.

Vulcan Inspection Services continue to support NFU Mutual customers with this obligation.

Yes, we understand that for some (potentially vulnerable) customers it could be difficult to allow inspections during this challenging period.

We would advise farms, where possible, to continue with scheduled equipment inspections. Inspections reduce the risk of injury and loss of life. It’s also worth bearing in mind that inspections reduce the risk of machinery malfunctioning – and business interruption. In this difficult time, it is important to keep those farms that can work operating.

You should ensure that you continue with inspections as scheduled if at all possible, as otherwise a backlog of inspections could occur after the COVID-19 outbreak, causing more disruption and delay to your farm.

However, if you do need to delay an inspection, contact the Vulcan Inspection Services Team on 0345 072 4387. You will receive a ‘Plant Not Available’ notice (PNA).

The obligation for inspections is a statutory requirement and is not diminished by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Examinations must still be carried out by a competent person in accordance with the scheme of inspection (generally every six or 12 months). If an inspection is overdue, any equipment which is subject to thorough examination must be withdrawn from service until it has been examined by a competent person. Operation of such equipment would be an offence under the regulations and there is a legal duty to report this.

If the Government makes changes to these requirements, we will provide updated advice.

Following Government advice, Vulcan Inspection Services have implemented a series of hygiene standards. This includes the use of disinfectant to sanitise machinery before and after inspection, careful social distancing practices and the use of electronic communications and programs – rather than paper.

Yes, it is possible to cancel inspections. However, we cannot guarantee that an appointment will be available as soon as the Coronavirus outbreak has passed. Appointments at that time will be prioritised. Examples of high priority businesses include medical services, food distribution and passenger carrying equipment.

Yes, we are extending cover for uncollected milk to all dairy farmers who insure their milk with us and will also cover new customers who insure their whole farm with us.  This extension, on the Property Damage or Business Interruption sections of your policy, will cover you in the event that milk could not be collected due to the dairy or its agent being UNABLE to collect your milk, for example where drivers cannot collect due to illness or self-isolation, if the government restricts movement further, or if the dairy or its agent becomes insolvent. However, if the dairy chooses not to collect due to economic reasons (such as lack of market demand), then this will not fall under the cover.

Yes, if you have insured your milk with us, the Uncollected Milk extension on the Property Damage or Business Interruption sections of your policy will cover you. Cover only applies where the milk could not be collected, for example, drivers cannot collect due to illness, self isolation, if the government restricts movement further, or if the dairy becomes insolvent.

Yes, your farm Public and Product Liability insurance will automatically include farm gate sales of milk - providing the sale of unpasteurised milk is in accordance with the current regulatory framework.

Since 2016, we’ve been working with The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme to help family farms improve efficiency, explore new revenue streams and embrace more sustainable ways of working. We’re also proud to support a number of charities through The Charitable Trust, including The Prince's Countryside Fund, Farming Community Network and RABI. You will be able to find lots of information on their websites which will support you through this challenging time. In addition to this, RISCAuthority, a funded research scheme supported by a significant group of UK insurers, conducts research in support of the development and dissemination of best practice on the protection of property and business. They have produced a business continuity template for small businesses, which can be downloaded for free. 

Further information on Business Continuity Planning is also available from business continuity and risk management experts such as Inoni. Inoni have published a Business Continuity for Business blog. The blog is intended to support businesses with their pandemic planning. It includes a suggested approach and an opportunity to download their own Pandemic Plan.

Your Public Liability insurance will cover any person, other than an employee, who suffers an injury for which you are legally liable while they are visiting your premises. So, while your Public Liability cover will apply, this will only be for isolated circumstances and individual children. If you provide broader nursery / creche arrangements these will not be covered as part of your normal business cover.

If you are intending to allow children onto the farm, there are a number of factors to consider, including the suitability and safety of the farm and who will be responsible for the child while on the premises.