Big things often start from small beginnings. Nowhere is this more evident than in farming and agriculture. Every year, the small steps taken by New Zealand farmers end up contributing to an industry which makes up the country’s largest sector and largest export business. More than fifty per cent of New Zealand’s land is dedicated to farming, the majority being pastoral land for sheep, cows and beef .
Whether running a dairy farm, hobby farm or 10,000-hectare sheep farm, there is inherent risk and unpredictability in farming and agriculture. Severe weather can damage crops and livestock, while machinery breakdowns, theft or accidents can interrupt - or halt - daily operations.
What is farming and agricultural insurance?
Farm and agriculture insurance is designed specifically to protect farm businesses and primary producers from a range of events experienced in agricultural environments. Policies typically incorporate different insurance benefits to provide comprehensive coverage for the unique needs of each agricultural operation.
Many farming operations require owners or operators to live on the property, so insurance to protect farm and agricultural concerns needs to blend personal and business-oriented cover in a single policy.
How a broker can help
Creating the right cover to ensure you’re properly protected requires an experienced insurance broker. A skilled broker has the knowledge and insight to help you thoroughly assess the risks of your farming or agricultural business. A broker will provide informed advice around standard and specialised cover points and can describe which insurance solutions are most beneficial to meet your needs. Brokers can also help save you time by streamlining the process of reviewing, selecting and maintaining the policies that give you the coverage you need. And in the event of a claim, a broker is able to act as your advocate to help reach settlement.
Standard considerations to include in farming and agricultural insurance
Nearly every farm or agricultural business faces risk to property, machinery, vehicles, people, produce and other assets in daily operation. Some of those risks are common. Others are more specialised. Every business considering insurance to protect farming or agricultural interests, needs to consider coverage against several standard areas of coverage:
- Home and contents. Many farmers live on the property they manage so it is important to ensure insurance is in place to cover the loss, damage or theft of the farmer’s home and the contents of that home.
- Farm assets. Farm asset insurance protects equipment, buildings, agricultural produce and farm supplies used in your operation to allow you to repair, or replace, items if sudden damage, theft or destruction occurs.
- Farm liability. Depending on the type of farm or agricultural operation you run, there are policy packages which can be tailored to cover your risk of claims for personal injury or property damage by a third party as a result of your activities.
- Vehicles. Insurance helps protect farm vehicles used in your operation.
- Income protection and business interruption. If theft, injury or severe weather events prevent you from earning income through usual activities, coverage is available to provide financial compensation until regular operations are able to be resumed.
- Farm machinery breakdown. Whether you own or lease mechanical equipment and machinery to use in farming, insurance coverage is available to protect against breakdowns, damage from power surges or explosion of machinery parts to get you back in business quickly.
- Personal accident. Personal accident cover protects you against death, illness or temporary disablement following an injury or illness.
Specialist considerations to include in farming and agricultural insurance
Some farming and agricultural operations have more unique aspects to running their business, which require slightly more specialised insurance coverage. Farming and agricultural insurance packages can be tailored to include a combination of standard and specialist benefits to give you the coverage you really need in one blended policy. Examples of specialist insurance coverage areas include:
- Livestock, produce and fencing. Options are available to protect animals, produce and fencing from theft, damage, severe weather events, accidental injury and other coverage exclusions.
- Crops. Severe weather events, including hail or fire, livestock, transit and storage all place valuable crops at risk of loss or destruction. Policies are available to protect your crop income from the unexpected.
- Goods in transit. In the event that livestock or goods need to be transported over land, insurance can protect against damage or losses.
- Tax audit. Every so often, there is the chance your operation will be audited. Tax audit insurance covers the reasonable cost of fees resulting from a tax audit.
- Miscellaneous. Depending on your specific needs, there are insurance options available to cover loss or damage of working animals and frozen semen and embryos from stud animals.
Our team of brokers understand the unpredictability and risk that go hand-in-hand with farming and agriculture. The experience across our network means our brokers have deep knowledge to fully understand each unique situation in order to customise the best possible protection, at the most competitive price. Our brokers take the time to explain the range of policy options so every customer has confidence they will never be over- or under-insured. A long track record managing farming and agriculture insurance policies means our brokers bring pragmatic advice to help customers research, choose, purchase and maintain the most comprehensive coverage to meet their needs.
Talk to a NZbrokers member to discover how to get started with building an insurance package that is right for you, so you can head back to the land with peace of mind.