What information do I need to provide for a smallholder insurance quote?

Many people dream of getting in touch with nature and seeing the physical results of hard labour. Although it might not be feasible to buy a large plot of land or a farm, a smallholding …

Many people dream of getting in touch with nature and seeing the physical results of hard labour. Although it might not be feasible to buy a large plot of land or a farm, a smallholding can provide a welcome answer and allow you to grow a variety of crops, own livestock, and make a modest income.

There are approximately 45,000 smallholdings in the UK. Such land is often used to grow produce from fruit to oats, as well as to keep poultry, sheep and other livestock. Some people might own a smallholding to make some money, whilst others may want to get back in touch with the land.

Whether you’re new to owning a smallholding or it’s been in your family for years, it’s important that you take appropriate care and precautions to make sure you aren’t landed with a large financial loss should anything go wrong.

This article will explain what smallholder insurance covers, why it may be a suitable policy for your land, and how you can apply for an insurance quote.

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What information do I need to provide for a smallholder insurance quote?

You will need to include certain information when applying for smallholder insurance. Such information will include the location of your land, what (if any) livestock you keep, and if you make an income from the smallholding.

Smallholder insurance covers a variety of land types, sizes, and activities that might occur on your smallholding. You will need to provide accurate and up-to-date information about your land when applying for insurance so that you get appropriate coverage.

Continue reading for more insights into the information you need for a smallholder insurance quote, as well as what smallholder insurance covers.

What is a smallholding?

A smallholding is a piece of land that is usually between five and 50 acres in size. Sometimes known as ‘hobby farms’, smallholdings can be used for livestock or growing crops in commercial or non-commercial settings.

Some smallholdings are open to the public and are used to make an income from selling tickets to amusements, such as petting zoos. You might also make some money through selling milk, eggs or other produce from your smallholding.

Smallholdings are smaller than commercial farms, but they still require a certain level of insurance. This is to protect both you and any third parties who visit or work on your smallholding.

What is smallholder insurance?

As with any type of insurance, smallholder insurance is there to provide you with cover in case anything goes wrong in the future. This could be an injury to a third party, or natural disasters resulting in significant damage to your land.

Smallholder insurance is a popular policy amongst farmers and landowners. You can be insured if you use your land for crops, livestock, or other farming activities and public events. The insurance will help you cover legal fees and compensation claims should a third party bring make a claim against you.

What does smallholder insurance cover?

Smallholder insurance covers a variety of land types. This includes land with rivers, hills and wooded areas. The land may be arable and used to grow crops or mostly fields with grazing livestock such as sheep, beef, or dairy cattle. You might even have visitors coming over to your smallholding on day trips or using your land for camping holidays.

The individual aspects of each smallholding mean that insurance cover varies. You will need to state the different uses of your land so that the correct policies can be applied to your cover.

The following is a list of policies that can feature in your insurance:

Property

Your smallholding might have structures such as barns, sheds or other types of outbuildings. The insurance will cover the cost of repairs if they are damaged by storms, floods, or vandalism for example.

Vehicles

Vehicles can be very important in helping you get from A to B on your smallholding, especially if you are transporting heavy materials. Smallholding insurance can cover vehicles such as tractors, quad bikes, and lawnmowers if they get damaged or stolen.

However, vehicles are only covered if they are used for agricultural purposes only. Personal cars would not be covered under this policy.

Livestock

Although smallholdings won’t have as much livestock as larger commercial farms, they can still be an integral part of your property. Not only is the initial cost of buying an animal expensive, but the everyday care, feed and vet bills can also add up.

Smallholding insurance will cover you if any of your animals are stolen, worried by dogs or foxes, harmed or have an unexpected death or illness. Additional Public Liability insurance can also help with legal fees and compensation claims if your animals harm a member of the public.

Machinery and Tools

Machinery and tools can make running a smallholding so much easier, but they often come with their own problems. Expensive machinery can attract thieves and you may be left struggling to work the land if your machinery is stolen or vandalised.

Smallholder insurance can cover the replacement or repair cost of machinery and tools. The insurance is only valid for agricultural tools and machinery that are used for work, not ones that are used for domestic purposes.

Produce

You might not make a fortune from selling smallholding produce, but it can still be a sizable income. Aside from this financial boon, growing crops can also be a very rewarding experience. It would be devastating if your crops were lost due to a flood or fire! The crops might also be stolen or destroyed by trespassers. The insurance policy can help cover the loss of income from any crops or produce that are damaged or stolen.

Why do I need smallholder insurance?

There are additional risks that come with running a smallholding. Unlike homes or gardens, smallholdings are more likely to have heavy-duty machinery, pesticides and other chemicals, livestock, and members of the public visiting in an official capacity.

This additional risk can result in an increased chance of financial losses, should anything go wrong. For example, if you have an open day and a visitor is injured because they break their ankle tripping over a fallen ladder, or one of your animals breaks loose from their enclosure and injures someone, the injured party could issue you with a compensation claim. They might claim that you had been negligent and hadn’t made sure that those hazards were checked and corrected.

Insurance helps you to prepare for the pitfalls of the future and to avoid financial ruin. Without insurance, you could be faced with charges so great that you end up losing your farm trying to meet them.

You can get insurance to suit a variety of circumstances and to suit your budget. Although you would hope that you’d never need to make a claim on your insurance, it is there to help you if the worst comes to the worst.

Employer Liability

Depending on the size or activities of your smallholding, you might also have employees. It is your responsibility to make sure that you take the necessary checks to ensure the health and safety of your staff. If they are injured whilst working on your smallholding, you could face a compensation claim and other legal fees. If you have Employer Liability insurance in this scenario, these charges would be covered.

What factors will influence my smallholder insurance quote?

Due to the nature of smallholder land, there are many different variations to consider. There’s not much use in providing a ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ policy when smallholdings come in all shapes and sizes and serve multiple purposes. You need the right insurance to fit your individual circumstances so that you’re not left out of pocket.

The factors listed below will influence your insurance quote and policies:

Size

The size of your smallholding will be a major factor in your insurance quote. The larger the property, the higher the quote. This is because you will have less control over the land if it covers a large area, versus a smaller area that you can regularly monitor.

Purpose

The purpose of your land can also affect the policies that you need and the price of your insurance. If your smallholding is for domestic use only with a small amount of poultry, you can expect your quote to be lower than a site with a small herd of cows, crops and regular open days for the public.

Buildings

Any outbuildings can also affect the proposed cost of your insurance. Barns, sheds and other structures may increase your insurance quote if they are deemed unstable or are in a poor condition. Buildings are also more likely to attract vandals or thieves. It might cost more to insure the property if you store expensive machinery or vehicles inside.

Public Access

Aside from paying visitors, there are many hikers and dog walkers in the countryside, and there may be a public right-of-way crosses near or through your smallholding. The increased risk from multiple people near the site could push up the price of your insurance. This is because there is a higher chance that someone will injure themselves and issue you with a compensation claim.

Many such accidents are possible. A visitor on your land could be hurt by an animal, or they might injure themselves if you have left tools or machinery in unsafe places, or even hurt themselves if a tree branch falls on them in high winds. Thus, it is your responsibility to make sure that you carry out proper maintenance of your smallholding to reduce the chances of accidents.

Employees

You will need to state how many employees or volunteers work on your smallholding and the tasks that they carry out. Although this factor is more common in larger farms, you will need Employer Liability insurance if you employ more than one person. It is a legal obligation and you will be fined if you don’t have it.

Employees face unique risks if they work with livestock, tools, or machinery. There is an increased risk of injury and therefore a higher chance that compensation claims will be made.

Income

Many people use their smallholding to earn an income. This could be by selling crops, animal products or even letting out land for a campsite. Whatever you use your smallholding for, you’ll need to declare it on your insurance application so that the appropriate coverage can be offered.

How much does smallholder insurance cost?

The cost of smallholder insurance varies because of the many factors outlined in this article. Expensive livestock, a larger piece of land, or lots of machinery can all increase the price of smallholder insurance.

We have a team on hand to help you find the best insurance policies for the best price. You can work alongside one of our expert insurance brokers to find tailored cover. We will help you do a price comparison so that you can be sure to achieve the best policy for the situation and budget.