Whether you have a smallholding or own a large agricultural business, you probably own a tractor. It is one of the most helpful machines for farming and moving your products from A to B.
When you own a tractor or any farming equipment, for that matter, you know how expensive replacements can get. A great choice to prevent significant bills is tractor insurance, but do you really need it?
It turns out that rural crimes are on the rise, leaving many farmers unprotected when they need it most. According to the National Rural Crime Network‘s latest data in 2018, crimes cost rural-specific businesses about £4,800 per year.
With this in mind, tractor insurance provides a good solution. We have put together this article to help you decide if you need tractor insurance and to let you know more about the benefits of getting it.
Do I need tractor insurance?
Tractors and other agricultural vehicles that you use solely on your own land do not need insurance. But, if you drive them on roads in the UK, you are legally required to get at least third party insurance. It is in place to protect others if you cause any accidents.
You don’t have to get comprehensive cover for your tractor. Still, any level of protection can offer a sense of security. Even if you are confident in not damaging your tractor on private land, you may still be at risk of theft or fire. Farm vehicle insurance takes that risk away so that you can farm without worries.
Is tractor insurance mandatory in the UK?
Tractor Insurance is not mandatory in the UK unless you are driving your tractor on public roads. Then, it is compulsory as you might put others at risk.
Auto insurance is a legal requirement for all vehicles that use public roads, including agricultural vehicles. So you must insure farm vehicles that you drive on public roads with at least third party insurance coverage.
Why should you get tractor insurance?
There are numerous reasons why tractor insurance is a good choice. The most important is your financial stability and your business security.
Tractors nowadays perform better, faster, and overall bring you more revenue than traditional models. But, with their speed and efficiency comes more risk. There is an increased chance of accidents, which could come with a big cost.
Apart from human errors, mechanical faults can easily cause a fire. Fire damage is a leading cause of business interruption, and your tractor can set on fire easily from an oil or diesel leak.
You do also need to consider the possibility of theft. Although you might keep your tractor safe and locked away, some thieves have ingenious methods. You never know when you’ll need to cash out and get a new tractor because a thief stole your old one.
What does tractor insurance cover?
The cover you get for tractor insurance depends on your agricultural vehicle insurance policy. Typically, it would cover the tractor itself, any trailers that are attached to it, and accessories.
You should check your policy with your insurance provider and make sure you select those that apply to your circumstances.
What policies can you get for your tractor insurance?
If you want broader tractor insurance, there are many policies you can choose from to cover all your insurance needs comprehensively.
- Personal belongings and spare parts cover
- Commercial tractor insurance
- Vintage tractor insurance
- Employee liability cover
- Public liability cover
- Smallholder’s tractor insurance
- Agricultural tractor insurance
- Any driver cover
Let’s dive into these in a little more detail.
Personal belongings and spare parts cover
If your tractor gets in an accident that results in damaged personal goods or spare parts, this policy covers the cost of their replacement.
Apart from protecting your farming equipment, this cover also insures your tractor’s driver’s belongings. It might be a good option if you have employees.
Commercial tractor insurance
If you are using your tractor commercially for farming and transporting goods, like with an attached trailer, you could benefit from commercial tractor insurance.
An average tractor insurance cover, even for comprehensive insurance, will have limited annual mileage. However, this policy allows you to farm without any mileage limitations.
Vintage & classic tractor insurance
You will likely prefer a policy that covers the value of your vintage tractor if you take it to agricultural shows.
Vintage tractors can benefit from insurance policies specifically designed for their condition. Typically, to qualify for this insurance cover, your tractor should be at least 25 years old. You also need to exclusively use it for shows, road runs, and rallies.
Depending on the insurance company you work with, there are different policies made to cover tractors and other farm machinery manufactured before 1990. So, if your tractor qualifies, you should discuss this with your insurer.
Employee liability cover
Liability cover is a legal requirement if you have employees who use your tractor. Anyone who helps out must be protected by liability cover in the case of an accident.
The only exception for this is if you do not have any direct employees and you do not work with contractors. They will typically have their own insurance.
Public liability cover
Public liability cover is an excellent policy to have for any claims made against you by a third party. If anyone has their property damaged or gets injured on your property, by your activities, or your products, this policy protects you.
Do members of the public walk through your property on a public path or drive through it? You will need public liability cover. The same applies if you sell any products since you will be liable for them.
Smallholder’s tractor insurance
If you are a smallholder or landowner, the smallholder’s tractor insurance covers your personal use of a tractor. It is specifically designed for low-level agricultural use and requires you to name your tractor’s user. You will also have to account for limited mileage, typically 150 miles per year.
Agricultural tractor insurance
Agricultural tractor insurance is a policy that exclusively covers your activities farming as an agricultural business, in sports clubs or garden centres. It applies if you use a single tractor to carry out your business.
Any driver cover
Any driver cover allows you to insure a tractor so that any of your employees can drive it. This is not the case for all policies, typically you are required to name the driver.
Here at A-plan, we can offer you any driver policies to help make managing your farm easier. You will benefit from full coverage regardless of who is driving your tractor.
What types of tractor insurance coverage can you get?
You can choose from three levels of insurance, which will depend on your specific needs. They are:
- Third-party cover
- Third-party, fire and theft cover
- Comprehensive cover
Third-party cover is the most basic level of insurance you can get for your tractor. It covers any damage you cause a third party, including injuries and damages to their property.
Third-party insurance does not, however, cover you for financial loss if you are involved in a collision that is your fault. You will have to pay for any damages to your tractor, as well as your own hospital bills.
Tractor insurance must have at least have third party coverage, similar to car insurance. If you drive your tractor on public roads, it is treated like any auto vehicle.
Third-party, fire and theft cover
Third-party, fire and theft cover includes everything third party coverage does but has an additional policy for fire damage and theft.
If someone commits arson or steals your vehicle, your insurer will issue a replacement for a sum you agree on when you set up your insurance. Similarly, if your vehicle catches fire accidentally, your insurer will pay for replacements or repairs.
Comprehensive cover for your tractor includes everything the other two levels of cover do. It also protects you against financial loss if your vehicle and driver suffer damage in an accident.
Should you get tractor insurance or agricultural insurance?
Whether you should get tractor insurance as individual coverage or insure your tractor through a blanket coverage policy is up to you and your needs.
Blanket coverage is a comprehensive farm insurance cover, also known as unscheduled coverage. It includes your whole farm, its machinery and equipment, livestock, and crops. It is often the more straightforward choice since you will not have to worry about each item.
Individual coverage is also known as scheduled coverage, as it gives you more control over your insurance. You can assign each item the amount of insurance you want. However, it does mean that you do have to choose separate policies for each aspect of your farm.
You should get individual coverage for your tractor’s insurance if you think it will be advantageous. You might find that a blanket cover is more cost-effective in the end if you insure some of your farm’s items separately.
Should you get tractor insurance or fleet insurance?
If you have more than one agricultural vehicle, you are likely to benefit from a multi-vehicle policy or agricultural fleet insurance.
You will save money and not worry about renewing your vehicles’ insurance individually if you insure them all under one policy.
If you get agricultural fleet insurance, you can cover different vehicles under one policy. Fleet insurance includes, but is not limited to:
- Quad bikes
We’ve put together a section for frequently asked questions.
Do I need to get a licence to drive my tractor on a public road?
You do need a driving licence to drive your tractor on the road, even if you use it on your farm too. But if you are driving the tractor off-road exclusively, you won’t need a driving licence for it.
How much does tractor insurance cost?
The cost of your tractor insurance will depend on its level of cover, policies, and how you intend to use it.
But, to give you a general idea of standard pricing, tractor insurance costs can begin at:
- £50 for third party cover
- £75 for third party, fire and theft cover
- £85 for comprehensive cover
How can I get a better price for my tractor insurance?
If you are trying to get a better quote for your tractor insurance, you should:
Use an insurance broker
Insurance brokers work with and have lasting relationships with a panel of insurers. They can get you the best premiums and negotiate the costs on your behalf. They are the fastest way to get a better price for your insurance.
Keep your tractor safe
If you keep your tractor secure and locked away while not in use, there is a lesser risk for theft. The same applies to installing alarms and video surveillance where you keep your machines. Your insurer will see this favourably and likely offer you a better quote.
Have a good driving history
You want to show that you are low risk. Your insurers will be more inclined to give you a better price when you provide a good driving record.
Avoid making claims
If you take good care of your tractor and try to be a careful driver, it will pay off. If you avoid making claims, many companies offer a no claims discount. Your insurance will have a better price at renewal if that is the case.
Limit your insurance indemnity
If you set a lower sum to take out when you need to use your insurance, you will likely get a better quote. But you should make sure to choose an amount of money that will cover any expenses you need. Otherwise, it might not be worth using your insurance.
Increase your insurance excess
If you choose to pay more when making a claim, you will likely get a better price for your premium. So, when you set up your insurance, it would be best to opt for a higher excess. Make sure to choose an affordable amount so you can take out money when needed.