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August 17, 2007    

Insurers letting down farmers

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by Kay Murchie

Insurers are failing farmers by not offering insurance cover for the impact of foot and mouth disease. NFU Mutual said the farming community could purchase cover that would pay out 25% of their herd’s value if their animals were slaughtered.

However, it said this was used to help cash-flow as full compensation came from the government, both for the slaughtered animals and clean-up costs. Farms and other rural businesses, such as country tourism, sport and leisure, retailers, agricultural transport and farms nearby cannot claim, in spite of their business suffering.

Aon, the broker, commented that only event insurance would cover foot and mouth and this is only as long as the cancellation was outside the organiser’s control. However, event insurance has its limitations as it will only pay out if the event was cancelled. Standard cover does not include reduced attendance if travel limitations were enforced.

Aon concluded that there is little insurance protection for loss following an incidence of foot and mouth.

The recent epidemic has been dealt with quickly with a small loss but it was estimated that the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak cost the country £8 billion.

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