Many farmers seek customisable insurance policies to cover the specific risks that apply to them. These might include elements of public or personal liability, coverage for tractors and other machinery, and livestock cover, but also the main farm dwelling itself. In addition to being part of the business, the farmhouse is also you and your family’s home, so it’s worth checking that you have all the protection you need.
The dwelling house is deemed to include walls, gates and fences in the vicinity, as well as domestic offices and garages. A number of factors will impact the cost, for example if the property is rented, unoccupied, is subject to a previous claim, and the age of the building. Pro tip: check what type of events or situations are covered, from fire and theft to subsidence and water damage.
Do you know how much it would cost to rebuild your house? Remember, the rebuilding cost is the price of reinstating a similar dwelling with similar materials. So if your farmhouse is a period residence, it will cost more to replace than a modern bungalow. Be sure to list the rebuilding cost, rather than the market value – the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has a handy housing calculator tool on their website. Pro tip: remember to factor in the cost of demolition, planning and other fees that might apply.
Valuing the contents
It’s easy to undervalue the things we have gathered around us. Make sure your contents policy factors in high-cost items such as electricals, equipment and appliances. If you know something is particularly valuable – a piece of jewelry, for example – a valuation may be required from a professional. This valuation will also act as proof of ownership in the event of loss, and should make the claims process simpler. Also check if your policy offers ‘new-for-old’ replacement, or if it allows for wear-and-tear. New-for-old offers a like-for-like replacement, giving you peace of mind, whereas wear-and-tear is cheaper but only covers the condition the item was in at the time of the claim. Pro tip: walk through your property, room by room, and make a checklist of what you would need to replace in the event of loss, and how much it would cost to do so.
Keep costs down
It’s tempting to err on the side of safety and over-value your property and its contents, but try to avoid doing this. Over-valuing will result in higher premiums and possible disputes should you need to claim. Certain security measures, such as cameras and heavy-duty locks, will also result in lower premium costs. Pro tip: many insurers offer loyalty discounts if you hold one or more policies with them, so look at consolidating your car, home and business policies with one provider.
All of these details can be overwhelming, which is why it’s so convenient to use an insurance broker such as Britton Insurance to guide you through the process. We have 50 years’ experience of providing competitive quotations that meet clients’ specific needs for farms throughout Ireland. And we don’t require farm visits – once our farm adviser discusses your needs with you they can generally provide a quotation within 24 hours during the working week. We compare prices to get you the best value for money without compromising on coverage. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.