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Does Farm Insurance Cover Public Liability?

Caeva O'Callaghan | February 23rd, 2021


Does farm insurance cover public liability?

Farms are often visited by members of the public. But what happens if someone injures themselves on your farm – are you covered by your insurance?

Yes. Farm insurance covers public liability as standard. You do not need to specifically request it to be added to your policy, and it should cover everything you would expect.

Public liability is the single most important section of a farm insurance policy. Farmyards, fields and outlying buildings present attractive locations for visitors, but not everyone is aware of how many risks will be present.

In this article, we’ll answer these queries:

  • Are members of the public covered under my farm insurance?
  • What does public liability cover?
  • If someone injures themselves on my farm, am I liable?

Public liability does not cover employees, or yourself. Get in touch today to organise farm cover that protects you and those you care about, as well as members of the public.

Public liability and farm insurance

While no two farms are the same, every farm runs the risk of a public liability claim.

Public liability insurance covers your legal responsibility to the public, visitors and suppliers should an accident happen while they’re on your farm. In the event of a claim against you following an injury, disease or property damage, public liability insurance will cover the amounts you’re legally responsible to pay. This could include hospital costs, loss of income, and damage to property or belongings, including pets.

The public liability section will cover all land you declare on your farm insurance policy. This means you need to ensure you make a note of all outbuildings, sheds, follies and ruins you have on your land, even if they are no longer maintained. Although they’re not close to your yard, and maybe at the back of your mind, nothing is more attractive to walkers, children and pets than an interesting-looking old building to explore.

Farm outbuildings may have sharp, rusted corrugated iron roofs, loose slates or tumbledown walls. They may contain unpredictable livestock, dangerous equipment, or even hidden wells and slurry. Always consider your entire farm when purchasing or renewing your insurance.

Dangers on the farm

Farms are outwardly peaceful, idyllic places to walk and visit – but they are full of hidden hazards. Any farmer with experience will see their farm as a safe enough place, but to members of the public and workers with fewer skills, lives are very much at risk.

Common public liability claims on farms include:

  • Livestock causing damage to walls and property
  • Muck or slurry on the road causing accidents
  • Sheep or cows straying onto the road causing delays or collisions
  • Falling trees and branches

Never overlook the importance of having a good public liability insurance policy in place, and re-checking and updating (if needs be) every time you renew. Failure to have adequate public liability protection or failure to disclose the full extent of your farming activities to an insurer could have future consequences that could put your farm ownership at risk.

You and your employees are not covered

Public liability does not cover your farm employees, whether regular or seasonal, and it does not cover yourself.

You need employers’ liability insurance if other people work on your farm, even on a voluntary basis. If your family and friends help out, this kind of cover also covers them and other unpaid workers you have doing work for you. However 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.

However, if you have another farmer or professional on hand to do odd tasks around your farm, they will need their own agricultural contract insurance. This applies to you as well, if you do agricultural work for others.

In short, if you have regular employees, they are your responsibility to insure. If you hire external contractors, you need to make sure they have their own insurance.

Confused about public liability and employers’ liability for your farm? If you own a working farm, get in touch with us today and talk to our farm insurance experts and they will go through all the relevant cover options for your farm.

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YOUR LOCAL FARM INSURANCE SPECIALISTS

Jean Marc Rolland - Talk to our Farm Insurance Agent today

JEAN MARC ROLLAND

NAVAN

Caroline McArdle - Talk to our Farm Insurance Agent today

CAROLINE MCARDLE

DUNDALK

Linda West - Talk to our Farm Insurance Agent today

LINDA WEST

MONAGHAN

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.