Don’t let hire cost of replacement combine put paid to your harvest…

  • Insurance cover must be sufficient to get you through harvest in the event of combine fire
  • Farm managers are being urged to check insurance policies to ensure adequate cover is in place to claim against the cost of hire of a replacement combine, should fire damage interrupt harvesting

With costs upwards of £70,000 for the hire of a high-capacity machine to cover for the remainder of the harvest period, Acres Insurance Brokers director Nigel Wellings advises farmers to check what they are covered for, in the event of a combine being rendered out of action.

“Imagine the scenario, you are in the second day of harvest and your combine goes up in smoke and is a complete write off. You have 2,500 acres of crops still to cut and are obviously desperate to get the job done as soon as possible,” he says.

“The combine is comprehensively insured on an agricultural vehicle policy, so insurers will pay out the market value of the written off machine. Payment from insurers for this will likely arrive in three to four weeks,” he adds.

However, Mr Wellings warns that in this scenario, the agricultural vehicle insurance will not cover for hire of a replacement machine to get the harvest done. This type of insurance cover should be provided under the Business Interruption section of a farm insurance policy.

“If this cover is arranged properly, you should be able to claim for all the cost of hire of a replacement machine to get your harvest done,” he says.

“In the above scenario you are probably talking about a cost of £60,000 to £70,000 to hire a high-capacity combine to cut 2,500 acres. A number of insurers have limits on the amounts of hire costs that they will pay out,” Mr Wellings adds.

“Commonly the limit is around the £50,000 mark. This is only enough to hire a combine for 1,700 to 1,800 acres. The lowest limit we have seen is £10,000 – this is just not sufficient,” he warns.

Mr Wellings says he increasingly sees insurers without restrictions on hire costs following a combine fire, so sufficient cover is available.

“As brokers it is vitally important that we have discussed the potential hire costs involved with individual farming businesses and arranged appropriate cover. You need to be aware what your insurance policy covers you for in terms of hire costs, or run the risk of taking a serious hit on your harvest,” he concludes.