Does Insurance for Farms Cover Injury or Illness of Livestock?

Caeva O'Callaghan | January 11th, 2024

Farm insurance covers any property on the farm, including buildings, machinery and equipment. But does it cover injury or illness to your livestock?

Standard farm insurance will cover injury to livestock, but not illness. To cover your livestock in the event of illness or disease, you will need specialist livestock insurance. This is available from a wide range of farm insurance providers.

With livestock insurance, you will be able to cover specific animals or a whole herd. It’s a good insurance policy to add on if you farm any kind of livestock such as cows, sheep or pigs.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

  • Does farm insurance cover foot and mouth disease?
  • Is sheep worrying covered by my farm insurance?
  • Can I insure my livestock for all risks?

Even if you don’t farm pedigree livestock, ensuring your animals have the best coverage will protect them from most risks.

Injury to livestock

Standard farm insurance will cover injury to livestock as a result of a sudden or unexpected event. Farms can be dangerous places for animals as well as humans, and the risks to your livestock are numerous.

For example, your livestock may fall foul of any one of these risks:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Explosion
  • Storm
  • Flood
  • Collapse of slatted units
  • Electrocution

The good news is, all of these risks will have coverage under any standard farm insurance policy. Farm insurance covers your property against such environmental and sudden risks, and as livestock are part of the farm’s property, they’re included in the policy.

You don’t need to worry when your livestock is on the move, either. Your farm insurance covers your livestock whether they are injured on foot or in transit.

Sheep worrying is a big risk to farmers, and can cause immense harm and distress to all involved. You will need to add sheep worrying cover to your policy, or check if it comes as standard. But if you have sheep worrying cover, this will include fatal injury to the sheep and necessary slaughter of the sheep occurring within seven days of the worrying incident.

Livestock and disease

Unfortunately, harm to livestock due to illness or disease is not covered by standard farm insurance policies. This is because illness can take a long time to take hold, and involves many other specialised factors which aren’t relevant to the rest of the farm.

Livestock insurance is a specialist form of insurance that will add extra protection for a singular animal or a herd against disease, as well as some other risks. These usually include:

  • Anthrax
  • Aujeszky’s disease
  • Brucellosis
  • European swine fever
  • Foot & mouth
  • Maedi Visni
  • Swine vesicular disease
  • Tuberculosis reactor

It’s a very good idea to get livestock insurance no matter what animals you have, as vets’ bills can be incredibly costly. You never know just what’s around the corner, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep your animals healthy and protected.

No matter the animal, as long as you declare it on your policy, you will have cover. Whether in situ or in transit, all livestock classes are catered for, including production animals such as sheep, cattle, poultry and pigs, alpacas, llamas and deer, exotics such as zoo animals and aquatics, as well as any embryos and semen you have on-site or in transport.

Pedigree livestock

If your farm includes pedigree animals, you can also cover these animals for illness separate from the rest of the herd.

You may also purchase a policy which insures your interests against death or infertility, or other loss of the animal’s capability to be of service. Protecting your income is of vital importance, and if a prized animal cannot function as normal this could be a hit into your investment.

Unless cover is granted at a livestock sale, a vets’ certificate is required to confirm that the animal is in good health before you take out the policy.

All of the farm insurance companies have different levels of cover and policy excess. So, talk to our farm insurance experts to find out which insurer best suits your specific cover requirements.








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