Insurance law change will increase burden on farmers


Farmers are facing tighter controls on business insurance as new legislation comes into force next month.

Farm Insurance BurdenThe changes, from 12 August, have been branded as the biggest shake-up in insurance law for more than a century.

Insurance experts are warning farmers that setting up policies will take far longer and could involve all staff across the farm.

The Insurance Act 2015 will enforce a duty of “fair presentation” requiring businesses to provide evidence that they have carried out a more rigorous and thorough assessment of risks.

This could include providing further evidence from third parties like accountants and other professionals the business works with.

Insurance Act 2015

Policyholders will have to ask anyone on the farm benefitting from cover whether they know any material information in relation to the risk.

There will be an explicit duty to ask questions of the whole business prior to renewal, not just senior staff.

All information will have to be presented clearly and accessibly to the insurer.

For example handing over data in an unstructured format will not meet the new standard.

The level of questioning and information gathering required to prepare for renewals may increase significantly.

Third parties such as accountants or IT providers may also need to be consulted over potential risks.

Anyone found to have deliberately withheld the full facts, faces having their policy being voided. In these cases, no claims will be met and there will be no refunds of any insurance premiums.

Famers face greater responsibility

Harrison and Hetherington (H&H) insurance brokers said farmers should be aware that there will be more responsibility on them to share all relevant information with their brokers.

Operations director at H&H, Paul Graham, said that understanding the implications of the new Act was complex and it was vital for all businesses to know what was required of them.

“It’s terribly important that farms and rural businesses better prepare their information.

“It is their responsibility to disclose the information and our responsibility to ask about the business, so expect to be asked more questions when applying for or renewing insurance.”

Although insurance contracts will still be based on good faith, the onus is now on customers to fairly present any risks to their brokers, Mr Graham said.

The information must be correct to the best of the customer’s knowledge, and there is also a requirement for customers to carry out a reasonable search for information to ensure they are presenting the full facts, he added.

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When animals are raised in the pasture-based system they are let to graze freely and eat nutritious grass and other green plants that are easily digested by their bodies. The animals welfare is greatly increased when they graze on green pasture.

Sustainable livestock raising also helps in reducing damage to the environment and the produces such as beef, eggs and milk is more nutritious and taste better than food from factory farms.

Animal Health Benefits:

Livestock that are kept in restricted factory farms have less quality life than those raised on pasture. Livestock when raised on pasture can move around and live an organic life where else in factory facilities the animals are all crowded in confined facilities. These facilities have no sun light or fresh air allowing bacteria to develope and affect the animals. This then causes the animals being given antibiotics which is not good for the livestock.

Since a whole lot of livestock eat grass, grazing them on pasture has a lot of benefits. Some of the benefits would be the livestock are able to produce saliva which is great for neutralizing acids that is in their digestive tract. Seeing that grain fed livestock produce less saliva they generally suffer from dehydration, intestine damage and even death.

Human Health Benefits:

Livestock farmed on pasture produce more nutritious eggs, meat, milk which is good for consumers then livestock raised on grains. Adding to that, pasture raised foods have a more healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats than your conventional foods. Their vitamin levels are higher as well.

It’s no doubt that sustainable livestock farming is the way to go if you wish to be a successful livestock farmer. The livestock are reared in a healthy way and the produce is healthy for us humans.

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