Floods push up agricultural insurance claims


29 January 2016

By Keri Constantatou

This winter’s heavy flooding in parts of Scotland, northern England and north-west Wales is thought to be the worst for several years. The disruption has hit the farming community particularly hard, with farmers expected to make insurance claims for more than £40m of damage.

Individual farm businesses are facing losses in the tens of thousands of pounds, and in some cases the clean-up operation could take years. With many losses uninsurable, the impact on many farming businesses will prove irreversible.

Fields have had their valuable topsoil stripped away, debris and pollutants have been dumped on farmland, fences have been smashed, buildings damaged and livestock lost by a constant barrage of storms.

Farmers suffering from uninsurable losses can apply for a grant of up to £20,000 from the Farming Recovery Fund. However, producers will need to meet the strict criteria before they can make an application.

According to NFU Mutual, it is estimated that about two-thirds of the claims relate to farms and rural businesses and the remainder to damage to homes and cars. Most claims relate to flood damage to buildings and their contents.

The financial and emotional impact of the flooding has been exacerbated by Defra’s recent refusal to say how many farmers in England can expect to receive their 2015 Basic Payment by the end of January. Around £1bn remains to be paid.

Gepp & Sons have possibly the most experienced and established Rural Services Legal Team in the region. If you have any legal questions relating to farming and businesses in the rural community please contact Edward Worthy on either 01245 493939 or worthye@gepp.co.uk

The above is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.