Having grown up on dairy and beef farms in rural Shropshire, the agricultural director of Ludlow’s newest insurance firm is uniquely qualified to offer advice and coverage to farms in the area and beyond. Teme Valley Insurance’s Sue Powell has spent 30 years working in the insurance industry after her formative years involved a pair of welly boots and time spent on the farm with her family in Claverley.
Sue’s upbringing has given her a unique understanding of what life is like on a modern farm and she is on hand to cover five hot-topics that many farmers might have never considered – and most definitely should.
Sue’s top five tips are:
1. Livestock: Insuring your livestock includes basic covers such as fire, lightning, electrocution and impact by any other animal or vehicle, but there are others covers that need to be considered. The expensive bull you’ve just bought could just be added to the livestock and would be covered with the rest of the herd, but what if he breaks his leg and can’t operate? We can include a section called ‘all risk mortality cover’ which would cover your loss if the bull then has to be put down or ‘loss of use/ fertility’ in the event that he can’t resume normal service.
2. Theft: This has become a large problem in the Shropshire area of late and we can include this to make sure you are covered against such peril. As with any insurance cover, make sure that your livestock sums insured are correct to prevent the risk of being under insured.
3. Fleets: The beauty of our policies is that we can place all your vehicles, be they private cars, commercials vehicles, tractors, quads and telehandlers all under one policy and automatically cover all of your accessories. It’s a great way of removing unnecessary inconvenience and creating one common renewal date.
4. Machinery inspections: Are you aware that under LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations of 1998) and PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) these issues are requirements made by the Health & Safety Executive? We deal with qualified engineers who can inspect your machinery. It could be the difference between you gaining a criminal record with a large fine.
5. Environmental pollution: Just the name sends shivers down farmers’ backs. This is now one of the most important considerations a farmer needs to include. A prosecution from the Environment Agency isn’t a one off fine, but something that can stop with you for years to come. Don’t take a chance on this.
Sue hoped that this agricultural advice, coupled with a call to Teme Valley to discuss potential new policies or existing ones, would ease the load on farmers in what is already a demanding profession.
“People get this idea that growing up on a farm is all little red tractors and bunny rabbits – well, it’s far from that. It’s hard labour for very little real reward – a hard job, but it’s ‘a way of life’.
“From the age of 16 onwards, I was out working in day jobs. But under the age of 16, I’d come home from school and immediately get my wellies on, and then be out with my mum and dad helping with the cows, or feeding calves. There’s no cut-off point, as such, where living on a farm becomes living and working on a farm.
“My dad is probably up at about six in the morning, and if he’s lucky, at this time of the year, he’ll get in at about 7.30pm at night. There are too many insurance brokers who go into the farmhouse, sit at the kitchen table and say, ‘Show me all of last year’s documents and I’ll copy it all down and give you a quote’. If I go onto a farm, I suppose because of my background, I’m going to carry out a full risk assessment based on the actual farm and its practices, and not rely on the last broker’s renewal documents. I want to help!”
For more information about Teme Valley Insurance ans Sue’s agricultural insurance solutions, call 01584 290055 or visit www.temevalleyinsurance.co.uk