Insurance Issues and Agricultural Tractors

If you are a farmer, you need to pay particular attention to insurance in a whole range of your day-to-day activities.

However, putting it in place and maintaining its validity can sometimes be two very different things and particularly in the case of agricultural tractors.

It’s important to recognise that the only valid source for insurance advice pertinent to your particular circumstances should be your insurance provider. There are many varying circumstances that might mean some of what follows doesn’t apply to you but there are a few general points here that might be worth keeping in mind.

1. Policies for agricultural tractors typically contain clauses relating to obligations on the part of the policyholder. If you transgress on any of those, in the event of a claim you may find your demand for financial compensation is refused. So, be clear overall what your obligations are.

2. One of the most commonplace situations where cover can be invalidated is letting an unauthorised party drive your tractor. There may be specific clauses relating to the minimum ages of drivers, the amount of time someone has held a licence and the type of licence they hold. Although it may be tempting sometimes to do otherwise, don’t let someone in an excluded category drive your vehicle.

3. Another commonplace exclusion relates to operation and use. In other words, your policy may insist that uses are restricted to the purposes outlined in the manufacturer’s handbook or licensing documentation. For example, trying to use some types of agricultural vehicle for digging, when it isn’t designed for it or doesn’t have the appropriate accessories fitted, could cause you policy difficulties if things go wrong. Similarly, using it on a building site for construction purposes, as opposed to agricultural use, might also be an issue.

4. Keep in mind the difference between use on private land and on the public highway. Depending tractor insurance on your situation, they may be very different in both licensing and cover terms.

5. Be cautious with modifications. Sometimes fitting a new engine or significantly customising the cab might cause difficulties if your policy provider interprets that to be changing it so much that it no longer conforms to the manufacturer’s specification.

6. Make sure you also understand any stipulations relating to security. Leaving it unlocked on the basis of “nobody would touch it out here” might invalidate your cover should, against all your expectations, someone decide to help themselves to your property or vandalise it.

7. Remember that aspects of you and the other authorised drivers may be an important subject sometimes. For example, if you are suddenly diagnosed as suffering from certain types of illness or suffer something that reduces your physical mobility, you may need to declare this to your cover provider because if you don’t, yet again it might put your protection at risk.

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