Does Farm Insurance Cover Employers’ Liability?
Caeva O'Callaghan | August 9th, 2022
As a farmer, you may ask another professional to do the odd job, get your family to help out or even recruit volunteers. But are they covered by your farm insurance?
Only if you request it. Employers’ liability does not come as standard when you purchase a farm insurance policy, and unless you make sure you have this coverage in place you may find yourself underinsured.
Farms are very dangerous places, for employees as well as members of the public. You need to make sure all safety precautions are taken, including having insurance.
In this article, we’ll discuss the following questions:
- Does my farm insurance cover employees?
- Do I need extra insurance to hire seasonal workers?
- My family works on my farm – are they covered by my insurance?
Public liability comes automatically with your overall farm policy, but employee insurance does not. No matter if you hire regular workers or casual helpers, their safety should always be top priority.
Insure your farm employees
If anyone else is working on your farm on a permanent, part-time or seasonal basis, you will need to tell your insurance provider. Such cover for new and existing hires does not come as standard on a farm insurance policy – so unless you have specifically requested it, you may not have cover. Your provider will advise that you add a new section to your existing policy to protect your workers in the event of an accident.
If your family helps out, employers’ liability insurance will also cover them as well as other unpaid workers or volunteers you have on your farm. They must be aged over 16 if you are insured with FBD, Aviva or Zurich. If you are insured with Axa, they must be aged over 14.
When you ask for a quote for this kind of insurance, your provider or broker will ask you a number of questions about the people who work on your farm. We will need to know if they are members of your family, how old they are (over 14 or not), if they are non-family volunteers or paid employees.
We will also ask you about the type of work employees typically do on your farm, and ask you to estimate the amount you pay on wages per year. You’ll need to include family members in this figure.
Employers’ liability and you
One important factor to note is that as the farmer or business owner, you will not have cover under your employers’ liability insurance or even your public liability insurance. This means you need to take out a personal accident section of your farm policy.
Adding on personal accident cover will provide you with a weekly benefit in the event that you are unable to engage in your usual farming activities. There are a number of options available in respect of personal accident cover, each of which will help ease your mind should the worst happen.
We will be happy to provide you with the options and costs and discuss which option might suit you best. You should be able to get cover for loss of income as well as hospital costs and hiring agricultural contractors to keep your farm running. Just give us a call today, and we can walk you through finding your ideal policy.
Safety on the farm
In addition to ensuring you have enough insurance cover in place, you need to do everything possible to lessen the risk of accidents on your farm.
This means posting appropriate signage wherever livestock are roaming or machinery is operating. Keep all public roads and pathways clear to the best of your ability, and drive safely and responsibly in farm vehicles on public roads. Be aware of trespassers and dogs who may worry your livestock.
When you take on employees, make sure everyone has the appropriate workwear including high-visibility PPE and stout boots or wellies. Keep first aid kits on hand, and always follow the manufacturer’s safety advice when working with farm equipment.
Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, all farmers have a duty to prepare a Farm Safety Statement. This is a document which outlines all the risks and hazards on their farm.
As an alternative to preparing a written Safety Statement, farmers with three or less employees can simply complete a risk assessment. You can find a copy of the Code of Practice document on the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) website.
If you don’t take reasonable precautions and are seen to behave in a risky fashion, your insurance may not pay out for a claim.
Talk to us about your farm insurance needs today
All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.