Business Clinic: How to Get the Best Value on Auto Insurance?

© Tim Scrivener

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, the experts at Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic can help.

Jeremy Mitchell, regional director at A-Plan Rural Insurance, advises on vehicle coverage.

See also: Business Clinic: how does extreme weather affect the insurance market?

Q: We have a growing collection of old and new vehicles, both farm and non-farm. I juggle different insurance policies with different renewal dates and terms.

Will I get a better deal if I consolidate them – or should I stick with specialists for certain items? What should I consider to combine good coverage with reasonable costs?

A: Farm equipment can pile up quickly, and with it the need for protection.

You may have used machines that are well worn but still work and in daily use, as well as a brand new kit that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

You can also have classic tractors for show or occasional use.

Then there are your private vehicles, including cars, farm trucks, commercial vehicles, ATVs, and even a ride-on mower. All of these require motorcycle insurance.

So let’s take a look at your options for insuring everything.

Group policies together

Consolidating policies can save you time, money and provide better coverage. The benefits include:

  • Fleet rates can be more competitive than insuring individual vehicles
  • You benefit from all driver coverage options instead of just specified drivers
  • Having one renewal date, one broker, and one point of contact can remove a lot from the admin
  • You avoid calling different people, for different vehicles, on different renewal dates for different questions
  • An easier claims experience when things go wrong.

The right cover

When you buy insurance for your vehicles, you have the choice of covering them on a market value basis (also known as indemnity) or on an agreed value basis.

Liability basis means you are insured up to the value of the vehicle at the time of loss, taking into account age, mileage and wear.

You shouldn’t be better or worse off after a claim. For agricultural vehicles, this is capped at the value you state on your policy.

You can opt for fully comprehensive coverage, which means that in the event of loss, both your vehicle and any damage to third-party property are covered.

Or fire and theft by third parties, which only covers your vehicle for theft and fire damage. These two options are the most common and are suitable for almost all vehicles on the farm.

With value insurance you agree on a fixed amount that your vehicle is worth. It is a way of guaranteeing value in the event of a loss.

It can accommodate vehicles that are worth more than average for that particular age and model, or high-quality or unique vehicles such as tractors or classic cars.

Other Considerations

  • Most new vehicles are “new for old” insured within the first 12 months of the vehicle’s life.
  • All policies should extend liability protection, which covers you for any damage to people’s property or injury you may have caused.
  • Trailed agricultural machines are often automatically covered to the same level as the towing vehicle. Check whether there are any restrictions on the insured amount.
  • For quads, ATVs and ride-on mowers, even if a vehicle is not often driven on the road, it is worth insuring it on motorcycle insurance. Otherwise, you may be held personally liable for damage in the event of an incident.

Talk to a specialist nationwide broker about how you can improve coverage for your vehicles.

Do you have a question for the panel?

Describe your legal, tax, financial, insurance or business management question in no more than 350 words and Farming Weekly will present it to a member of the panel. Please provide as much information as possible.

E-mail your question to [email protected] with the subject “Business Clinic”.