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Farm Public Liability Insurance – Compare Cheap Quotes
If your farm is an ‘open farm’ that members of the public are able to pay to visit, or if you run a farm shop to sell your own produce, there is a possibility you might face a public liability claim if a member of the public is ever injured or their property is damaged while they’re on your farm.
This might come as something of a shock, but if you are a landowner and a member of the public is injured while trespassing on your land, there is a possibility they might be able to sue you for compensation even though they shouldn’t have been on your land in the first place.
That’s why many farmers, particularly those who allow members of the public to visit their farms, decide to invest in a farm public liability insurance policy.
Of course, just because this type of insurance is a good idea doesn’t mean you should pay an arm and a leg for it. By shopping around to compare quotes from different providers you stand a better chance of finding the right policy at the right price.
Is farm liability insurance a legal requirement in the UK?
No, public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement in the UK, so no matter what type of farm you own or where it is located, you aren’t legally obliged to take out farm liability insurance.
However, if you run an open farm that allows school groups to visit it’s possible some of those schools might insist you have this type of insurance even though it isn’t a legal requirement.
Is farm liability insurance only suitable if I run an open farm or have a farm shop?
Farm liability insurance is most suitable for farms that are visited by members of the public, but it is possible to face a public liability claim from a delivery person or supplier if an incident occurs while they’re on your farm.
Surely it isn’t fair for a landowner to be held liable if a trespasser is injured?
While this rule seems very unfair on the landowner at first glance, it’s important to bear in mind that the legislation was created in order to protect children, which are often more likely to trespass on other people’s property than adults are, and are also owed a greater duty of care than adults.
In fact, if the trespasser was an adult and they tried to sue the landowner after they suffered an injury there’s a very good chance the courts would side with the landowner.
Still, if you do decide to take out this type of landowner liability insurance in order to cover the risk of liability claims by visitors you have invited onto your land, it’s good to know that you’ll also be covered if an unwelcome visitor takes you to court.
Is it true landowners in Scotland face an even higher risk of liability claims?
Scotland has had legislation in place since 2003 that gives members of the public “the right to roam”. The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gave the public the right to access and travel across most of the land in Scotland in a responsible manner, including privately-owned land.
While residential gardens, school grounds, sports fields, airfields, railways, construction sites and military sites are excluded from this right to roam, as is agricultural land where crops are currently growing, the vast majority of the land in Scotland is open to members of the public, giving rise to the saying “there’s no such thing as trespassing in Scotland”.
Unfortunately for landowners in Scotland, the fact that members of the public can access their land without being classed as trespassers means their duty of care to these visitors is the same as it would be to someone they invited onto their land, and as such they do have a higher risk of liability claims than landowners in England and Wales.
Is this type of insurance appropriate for neighbours that share a private road?
Yes, it should be possible for neighbours who share a private road to jointly take out a land insurance policy, which would then protect each of those neighbours from the risk of legal action if someone was injured on that road and the owners were held liable.
Is this type of insurance suitable for private lakes or rivers?
Yes, despite the name, land insurance isn’t only suitable for land – it can also be used to insure privately-owned waterways.
So if you own a private lake, river or stream and you’re worried about the legal fees and compensation pay-outs you might be forced to pay if you were faced with a public liability claim, a landowner liability insurance policy can help to offset that risk.
For any other queries please look at our FAQs page.