Whether you’re on farm or on holiday this summer, here’s some advice on how to avoid the silly season’s two top rural claims.
Quad bike theft and summer storms are the top causes of insurance claims over the holiday period says FMG.
“Whether you’re staying on the farm or planning to head away for a few days, there’s a lot you can do to help keep your belongings safe over the holiday period,” says FMG’s Head of Client Strategy & Advice Jason Rolfe.
Quad bikes—and particularly older bikes—are a prime target for thieves says Rolfe.
“Our experience is that older bikes are easier to sell off, which is what makes them so attractive to steal.”
FMG’s claims statistics show that quads are often stolen when the keys are left inside. This goes for other vehicles too.
“This can happen even if you’re on farm and particularly if you’ve parked up to do some work and leave your bike unattended. We recommend keeping your keys on hand or out of sight, particularly when working in paddocks near public roads.”
The other top claim FMG sees over the holiday period is the result of summer storms. Each year for the last five years New Zealand has had a summer storm or tropical cyclone that causes wide spread devastation such as Cyclones Fehi and Gita in 2018.
Over the past 5 years FMG has settled an average of $2.5 million per summer storm.
“While there’s nothing we can do about mother nature there are things we can do ahead of time to help limit her impact,” says Rolfe.
Regardless of whether you’re staying put or heading to the beach, as wind and storm damage is by far leading cause of farm building claims, FMG recommends doing what you can now to limit the impact.
“In respect to your farm buildings we suggest securing any loose iron as soon as possible. Many large claims have their origins in a small building weakness that could have been avoided with regular maintenance.
“It’s also a good idea to keep trees and branches trimmed and at least three metres clear of any building or overhead powerlines,” says Rolfe.
Our other advice is to have contingency plans in place. Following large scale weather events, such as cyclones, the scale and spread of destruction can result in a lasting disruption to your farming business so it’s a good idea have a ‘plan B’.
“Don’t forget to include your livestock in your contingency plan. Power outages commonly result from strong storms and particularly for dairy farms this can have a significant impact on your income as well as the health of your cows if you can’t milk for a prolonged period. Chances are that your neighbours’ sheds won’t have power either so having a back-up power supply such as a generator is really important.
“We just don’t know to what extent the damage a storm will cause so we it’s really important to make sure that you have adequate insurance cover for business interruption and any additional operating costs should a storm limit your ability to operate,” says Rolfe.
For more advice and information visit www.fmg.co.nz or call us on 0800 366 466.
Claire Broun, External Communications Specialist
Mobile: 027 302 5057