“It couldn’t have gone better” is how Sir David Fagan described making a claim with FMG after an electrical fire destroyed a dairy shed earlier this year.

The dairy shed was on the Te Kuiti dairy farm which is he owns with Lady Wendy and their son Jack.

It was during the first Covid-19 lockdown period that a fire started in either the dairy shed’s switchboard or storeroom on April 24. It then spread into the milking area and damaged all the electrics including the systems that run the rotary milking platform. Over half of the physical shed was also affected by the fire.

The Fagan’s share milkers have around 600 dairy cows and with calving starting in July, there was a real urgency to rebuild.

“There was pressure from the outset for getting the shed up before calving started and we knew that was going to be no small feat. The very day it happened one of the first things we did was phone FMG while we were looking at the ruins,” says Sir David.

That call came to Rural Manager, Mike Judge.

“David called me the morning of the fire. I could tell he was very concerned as it was in the late stages of lockdown, but he naturally wanted it assessed and asked if he could get his own network of tradesmen started ASAP. I said there shouldn’t be a problem and informed our claims team and Assessor Kevin Curtis who headed out to the farm to start the process. Fortunately, Sir David also had Business Interruption cover so that was great for peace of mind,” says Mike.

Sir David said that working with assessor, Kevin Curtis was ‘brilliant’.

During lockdown farmers and sub-contractors, including the original dairy shed builder, were classed as essential workers and were able to get to work on the rebuild quickly. Assessor Kevin says all the team working on the new shed did a fine job and says Sir David was great to work with.

The result? A dairy shed rebuilt with minimal stress and ready for the next calving season — all completed within the challenges of a global pandemic.

“FMG turned what was a very stressful time into something that went very smoothly. It couldn’t have gone better,” says Sir David.

Sir David Fagan is one of FMG’s longest standing clients, having joined the Mutual in 1979 at just 17 years old. He is a sheep shearer, who has won the New Zealand Golden Shears contest a record 16 times, has set 10 world records, and won five world, six world team, and 16 national titles. Four years ago, Sir David, Lady Wendy and their son Jack bought a dairy farm in their hometown of Te Kuiti and are thoroughly enjoying the dairy sector and planting on the upwards of 24,000 native trees on the block.