Making farming safer: Do you have the right insurance cover for your family?

The 2013–2018 Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) found that farm accidents have risen by 13% in the last five years and by 31% in the last 10 years.

The survey found that over the five-year period (2013-2018) 11% of farms have had a serious accident and in total 2,814 accidents occurred.

Insight into farm insurance claims costs

Figures released by FBD Insurance give further insight into the impact of farm accidents on farm insurance claims costs. The analysis conducted by FBD covers the period from 2014 to 2018, and relates to farms of 100ac or less.

The insights from this research will be used to assist and highlight areas for special review while conducting future farm safety assessments to help make farms safer for all of the family and contractors.

2/3 of Employers Liability claims cost relate to farm family members

These claims involved family members aged 14 years or older who were involved in an accident or sustained an injury whilst working on the farm.

FBD research aligns with findings from the Teagasc National Farm Survey which found that the vast majority of farm accidents (92%) in 2017 involved a family member, with 80% of accidents occurring in the farmyard or in farm buildings.

FBD’s risk manager Ciaran Roche commented: “When we examined Employers Liability claims costs arising on family farms of 100ac or less in size, two thirds involved a family member.

“It is important to check your farm insurance policy to ensure family members are covered under the Employers Liability section. This can ensure that you have peace of mind when family members’ help out on the farm, at weekends or summer holidays and are covered under the standard policy.”

Construction accidents are a significant driver of public liability claims costs

Analysing FBD’s 50 largest public liability claims over the five-year period, it was found that 48% of the claims costs incurred are directly related to construction type incidents on farms, broadly described as repair, maintenance, alteration and reconstruction of farm outbuildings.

FBD understands that self-undertaken construction is a core activity of maintaining and developing a farm and as such is covered as standard under all farm multi-peril policies, where it may be excluded by other insurers.

The severity of construction-related incidents and the injuries associated with a fall from heights, many from as little as 4-6ft, cannot be under-estimated.

It is also worth highlighting the importance of ensuring that all contractors employed by farmers have appropriate Employers Liability and Public Liability before commencing work, as a failure to do so could result in a greater liability exposure for farmers.

Making farming safer must be a priority

For FBD customers this protection is provided as standard as part of its farm multi-peril policy under Employer and Public Liability.

Ciaran Roche, further commenting on the findings, said: “The risks involved in farming are not unknown to farmers and their families.

All too often accidents and fatalities occur on Irish farms which involve a family member or child. These findings are a stark reminder of the dangers present on our family farms. Thinking “safety first” and ensuring safe working practices is essential in day-to-day farming.

For over 50 years FBD has protected Ireland’s farmers, consumers and businesses by offering the best cover available in the market through its 34 local branches.

FBD aims to protect farmers and for this reason are unique by providing cover for family members 14 years or older under Employers Liability cover as standard.

Making farming safer for the entire family must be a priority for everyone involved in Irish agriculture to reduce the unacceptably high number of farm accidents.

FBD Insurance Group Ltd trading as FBD Insurance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Underwritten by FBD Insurance plc.