Most people dislike paying for insurance but if an incident does occur very few complain about having paid the premium.
This is particularly so where buildings are involved and with farm and rural property ownership to avoid upset, hassle and possible averaging (if under insured), it is vital to get it right.
We are currently going out to tender for a rural estate client who has been with the same insurance company for some years.
Sadly it seems loyalty no longer has any value with some insurers, so a good proactive specialist broker is essential.
The exercise has highlighted the importance of getting the correct cover and this applies to both the building sums insured and the perils covered by the policy.
The costs for rebuilding for all dwellings and farm buildings are given by the insured and it has always been important that they are adequate in the event of a total loss. You should ask yourself:
- When did you last look at the rebuilding costs in detail?
- With traditional farm buildings, would replacement in modern materials be an option?
- Are any buildings listed? If so is cover sufficient for a major partial loss?
- The perils covered by the policy also need thought beyond the essential fire and storm cover. You may not be in an area prone to flooding by river levels, but what about flash flooding and escape of water?
The cost of cleaning up contamination is very expensive. Your liability policy might cover this where contamination spreads off your farm, but does it cover you for clean up on your own land?
Many farm buildings have asbestos cement roofs. Does your policy cover the additional costly sums to remove and dispose? Under asbestos regulations you have a duty to know if and where any of your buildings have asbestos and there is a requirement to keep an active record so asbestos can be managed in a safe way.
These are some pointers to hopefully give you all food for thought when considering your insurance cover.
David Groves, partner with Balfours Property Professionals