Will Insurance for Farms Cover Agri-Contractors?

Caeva O'Callaghan | February 9th, 2021

As a farmer, you may ask another professional to do the odd job around their yard. But do they need their own farmer insurance to do so?

Yes – they most certainly do. Whenever you employ professional agricultural contractors to work on your land, you must make sure they have the right insurance in place.

This is just like checking out a tradesperson is reputable before you allow them to work on your house. If someone who is working for you does not have insurance, this could lead to a messy legal battle down the road.

In this article, we’ll cover questions like:

  • Do agricultural contractors need insurance?
  • What insurance do I need for agricultural contracting?
  • As a farmer, does my insurance cover my employees?

Farming takes a lot of work, and sometimes you need a helping hand. Always check contractors have insurance first. You can always send us the details so we can check they have proper coverage before they start work on your farm.

You still need insurance for the occasional job

Many farmers help each other out – sometimes formally and sometimes just to give somebody a bit of a hand. This is why we recommend that farmers extend their policies to do some agri-contracting. It’s always better to have the option.

For example, if you, a farmer, are out cutting your hedges and a neighbour pops out to ask that you do his too, you are always fully able to take on the job. However, if you have an agricultural contracting extension to your insurance policy, this would make sure there would be no extra worries if you were to injure someone while doing so.

In these cases, it’s always you (the farmer) who needs the extension, as you are the party completing the work. The other party’s insurance is not involved.

Employers’ liability insurance

You need employers’ liability insurance if other people work on your farm on a more regular basis, such as seasonal employees or voluntary helpers. If your family helps out, this kind of cover also covers them and other unpaid workers you have doing tasks 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.

Again, if you have another farmer or professional round to do odd tasks around your farm, they will need their own agricultural contract insurance. Ordinary members of the public or regular employees of yours will fall under your own farm insurance policy.

Employers’ liability insurance helps cover the cost of compensation for your employee’s injuries or illness which may occur while working on your farm. It’s important to have, as there are many risks to people working on farms, including injury from livestock, machinery, or trips, slips and falls.

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.

Large-scale agricultural contracting

Some agricultural contractors do a lot on other farmers’ land. In essence, they are “farmers for hire”. These contractors have their own farm as well in most cases, but what sets them apart is that a large percentage of their turnover is derived from contracting work.

Farmers that derive more than 35% of their turnover from agricultural contracting are deemed to be primarily agri-contractors. Therefore, they absolutely need the right farm insurance in place to make sure they have proper coverage for every scenario.

Here at QuoteMe.ie, we are experts in farm insurance and can help you find the right farm insurance with contracting cover to suit how you work. One option is separating out the two occupations and insuring them under different policies, but this won’t be suitable for everyone.

Want to find out more? Give us a call today and talk to our farm insurance experts, and we can help you out.








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