Does Farm Insurance Cover Walkers On My Land?
Caeva O'Callaghan | August 11th, 2021
Your farm is your private property – but members of the public may not think so. A beautiful farm is a magnet for walkers, but will your farm insurance cover them if they are injured?
Yes. Anyone walking a country stroll across your farmland will be covered under the mandatory Public Liability section of your policy. If they injure themselves while crossing your property and take action against you, your farm insurance policy will defend you and pay their compensation.
In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:
- What is public liability cover?
- What dangers are present on a farm?
- How can I keep members of the public safe on my farm?
Don’t forget, your public liability cover will not apply to employees, or yourself. Get in touch today to organise farm cover that protects you and those you employ as well.
What is public liability cover?
Public liability insurance covers your legal responsibility to visitors, walkers, guests and suppliers should an accident happen while they’re on your farm. In the event of a claim against you following an injury, illness or property damage, public liability insurance will cover the amounts you’re legally obligated to pay. This could include hospital costs, loss of income, and damage to property.
In Ireland, pets are considered property, so if a dog is injured while on your land your public liability section will cover their vets’ bills.
The public liability section will cover all land you declare on your farm insurance policy – no more, no less. This means you need to make sure to include all outbuildings, sheds and ruins on your land, even if they are no longer maintained. After all, nothing is more intriguing to walkers, children and pets than an interesting-looking old building to explore.
What dangers are present on a farm?
Public liability is so important to have because farms are deceptively dangerous places. On the outside they are idyllic, peaceful places to walk and visit – but they hide a multitude of hazards the general public may not be aware of.
Common public liability claims on farms include:
- Muck or slurry on the road causing traffic collisions
- Animals causing damage to walls and property
- Livestock straying on the road
- Falling trees and branches
Failure to have adequate public liability protection – or if you don’t disclose the full extent of your land or farming activities – could mean future consequences that put your farm ownership at risk.
How can I keep members of the public safe on my farm?
Generally speaking, you should put up signs to warn walkers and hikers of potential dangers on your farm. Unfortunately, doing this won’t protect you from claims being made.
Even if you discourage walkers from your land, some may ignore them completely and you will still be liable if they get hurt. Signs aren’t entirely worthless, as they stand you in good stead with your insurer as doing your due diligence as a responsible landowner.
This is why the public liability section of your farm insurance policy is so valuable. 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 – leaving you with a very hefty bill.
Always keep all roads and pathways maintained as best you can, and drive safely and responsibly in farm vehicles on public roads. Be aware of trespassers and dogs who may worry your livestock.
You should also keep first aid kits on hand, and maintain boundaries and fences so that livestock can’t escape.
Confused about farm insurance? There’s no need to be – give us a call today, and we can walk you through what you need.
All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.