Combine harvesters are extremely versatile machines that are used to harvest crops in the autumn. They perform many different functions, including cutting and separating edible grain from inedible chaff and cleaning the grain using rotating blades, wheels, sieves, and elevators.
Considering everything it’s capable of doing, it’s no wonder your combine harvester is likely one of the most expensive pieces of farming equipment you own. Starting at around £7,000 for a second-hand combine and going into the hundreds of thousands for a brand new state of the art machine, it’s all high value equipment that’s well worth insuring.
As well as making sure you’re covered for the cost of a replacement if your combine harvester is damaged or stolen, you’ll have peace of mind that you’re protected should you need to make any repairs too.
But just because the agricultural equipment you’re insuring is expensive, it doesn’t mean your premium has to be.
How can I reduce the cost of my combine harvester insurance?
From using an insurance broker and tailoring your policy to suit your needs, to putting a risk management plan in place, there are many ways in which you can reduce the cost of your combine harvester insurance.
It is, however, important to remember that the most competitively priced policy isn’t always the best option — you need to make sure you’re covered for the right things because if your insurer won’t pay out for what you’re claiming for, the money you will have spent on your policy will be wasted.
There are things you can do to get a good deal, though. But before we go into some of the ways in which you could save on your premium, we’ll explain what’s usually included on a combine harvester insurance policy and why you need to be protected.
What does combine harvester insurance cover?
What you’re covered for all depends on your particular requirements, however many insurers offer the following features on a combine harvester insurance policy:
- Windscreen cover to repair or replace your windscreen
- Replacement vehicle if yours is stolen, damaged or destroyed by fire
- Legal expenses to cover any assistance you may require following an accident
- Additional equipment, so damage to any trailers or tools will also be covered
- Cover for personal possessions left inside the cab
- Choice of excess to suit individual needs
- Replacement locks if your keys are lost or stolen
- Benefits payable in case of death or loss of limbs or eyesight
When shopping around for your insurance, check what the provider includes as standard, then tailor your quote by adding or removing anything to suit your needs.
Why do I need combine harvester insurance?
Unless you drive your combine harvester on public roads, it is not a legal requirement to insure it. However, there are a number of reasons why it’s a good idea to do so:
- As mentioned previously, farm equipment is worth a lot of money, so it makes sense to get it covered in case it’s stolen or damaged
- Farms can be extremely hazardous places, so the risk of perils like fire is far greater than it would be under normal circumstances
- You’ll have peace of mind that any employees you have working for you are protected
How much does combine harvester insurance cost?
The price of a policy depends on things like how much your combine harvester is worth, the level of cover you choose and what the crime rate is in your area.
When giving you your quote, an insurer will also take into account things like where it’s stored when it’s not in use, its condition and the driver’s history.
Six ways you can reduce your combine harvester insurance premium
One: Using an insurance broker
By using an insurance broker like A-Plan, you’re more likely to get a better deal.
This is because they’ll negotiate with a range of underwriters on your behalf, to get you the right premium at the best price.
Two: Tailoring your policy
By tailoring your policy to suit your individual requirements, you can ensure you’re not paying for features you don’t need. Read on for some of the amendments you can make.
Choosing your level of cover
Generally speaking, the more cover you get, the more it will cost. The different levels of cover you can choose between are:
- Third-party only – This is the lowest level of cover available and protects you if you injure someone else or cause damage to their vehicle or property. It doesn’t cover damage to your own combine harvester or injury to the person operating it.
- Third-party, fire and theft – As well as third-party cover, you’ll be protected if your combine harvester is stolen or damaged by fire.
- Fully comprehensive – The highest level of cover gives you the most peace of mind, however, it’s usually the most expensive. With comprehensive insurance, you’ll get all of the benefits of third-party, fire and theft insurance, and also be compensated if your combine harvester is damaged or lost due to accidents or vandalism. The driver will also be covered.
Increasing your voluntary excess
As with all insurance policies, increasing your excess tends to reduce your premium. Remember, though, that if you have to make a claim, this is the amount you’ll be liable to cover before your insurance provider will payout.
How you pay
Paying your annual premium in full instead of in monthly instalments may cost less, as you’ll avoid potential interest fees.
Simply tell your broker exactly what you want to be covered for and they’ll search through their database of insurance companies to find the right level of cover at a price you can afford.
Three: Managing your risks
Putting a risk management plan in place can help you get a better deal on your combine harvester insurance. Managing your risks makes you more attractive to insurers, which means you can benefit from more competitive rates. We’ve outlined some ways in which you can manage your risks below.
Farm equipment is worth a lot of money, which makes it a target for thieves. But adding extra security like alarms and tracking devices can help reduce your premium.
It’s good practice to keep your combine and equipment locked away when you’re not using it. Not only will it reduce the risk of theft it can also lower the price of your insurance.
It’s also worth considering installing CCTV cameras too.
Taking extra security measures like these can be especially worthwhile if your farm is in an area with a high crime rate.
Reduce the risk of fire
Fires can cause huge devastation on farms, and it’s even more stressful if they happen during the busy harvest period.
Some insurers offer discounts to farmers who can prove they’ve taken measures to reduce the risk of fire on their land. Read on to find out about some of the ways you can do this.
Get a suppression system fitted
These work by interrupting the chemical reaction which is caused when a fire starts. They cut off the oxygen supply, releasing foam to rapidly cool hot surfaces of more than 200 degrees Celsius in larger engine bays (which also hold filters and turbochargers).
While your insurance policy can cover the cost of a replacement, preventing fires in the first place means you won’t lose crucial harvesting time during a short weather window.
Other ways to reduce the risk of fire
To help prevent combine harvester fires, there are some other measures you can take:
- Make sure you clean flammable dust and chaff from your combine harvester and grain dryers regularly
- Clean flammable liquids like fuel and grease from around the machine
- Use a mobile compressor to blow off the combine, especially in dry, dusty conditions
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and look out for leaks in hoses and fittings
- Turn off engines before clearing blockages or carrying out maintenance
- Store your machine away from external heat sources, such as furnaces
- Make sure your employees are aware of your fire procedures, including where the nearest water source is. Keep fire extinguishers in the cab, as well as trouble spots around the combine, and inspect them regularly to make sure they’re working at all times
- Invest in thermal imaging and sensor technology to monitor the heat generated around certain components and ensure they’re within operating temperature ranges
- Ensure drivers are aware of power lines so they can pass under wires safely
Four: Buying second-hand combine harvester
Insuring a brand new combine harvester will usually cost much more than a used one, as it’s likely to be worth more money.
Not only that, but a new machine will be more of a target for thieves.
If, however, you would prefer to buy a new combine, you can take steps to ensure it’s well-maintained so that it’s less likely to break down, and there’s a lower chance you’ll need to make a claim that could affect your premium.
Five: Consider agricultural fleet insurance
If you own numerous machines and vehicles, you could save money by insuring them under one policy instead of buying individual premiums.
Because you’ll get similar excesses and terms, there will be less administration– which can save you valuable time.
Having everything covered under a single policy also makes life much easier, as you only have to give your details once. And, if the worst does happen and you have to make a claim, you’ll only be dealing with one provider.
Six: Use your no claims
When shopping around for a quote, remember to mention any no claims discount you have so you can get a better price.
Even if your no claims bonus is from driving on public roads, you could still get a reduced price for your combine harvester insurance.
Insurers usually reward careful owners with better premiums, so by driving safely and looking after your combine, it’s likely your insurance policy will be reasonably priced.
You’re more likely to get a better price for your combine harvester insurance if you go through a broker like A-Plan, as they can negotiate with their contacts to get you a good deal.
However, there are some things you can do yourself to help reduce your premium. Tailoring your policy to suit your specific needs means you won’t be wasting money on features you don’t need, and if you put a risk management plan in place, insurers can help you get a better deal on your combine harvester insurance.
You can also save money by insuring all of your agricultural equipment under one policy, and any no claims bonus you have can reduce your premium even further.