Specialist insurance comparison website, Quotezone.co.uk, has urged farmers to take more precautions after research reveals agricultural equipment is still unnecessarily vulnerable to theft.
A recent crime survey, published in August 2019, reported the cost of farm related theft across the country was £54.3m in 2019. This included £9.3m worth of farm vehicles, up from £7.4m the year before, and £3.1m worth of quad bikes, up from £2.6m.
Research from Quotezone.co.uk, based on over 10,000 insurance policies, found that more than 20% of farmers keep working vehicles in unlocked garages overnight and over 15% are left out on unsecure driveways.
“I think many would assume that due to the rural location of farms and the size and complexity of the machinery in question that theft would be unlikely, but as the statistics show, farms have become a target for specialist thieves,” said Quotezone.co.uk’s founder Greg Wilson.
The insurance specialist gave some suggestions to help increase security on farms and in turn lower inurance premiums:
- Restricting access to yards, installing sturdy gates fixed in concrete or a metal post
- Painting equipment in distinctive / corporate colours
- Investing in security devices such as Datatag marking or vehicle trackers
- Registering and take photographs of expensive items and equipment, noting serial numbers
- Checking fences, hedges and walls regularly for breaches
- Adding alarms, CCTV and security lights, and keeping gates locked and vehicle keys on your person
- Joining Farm Watch (Neighbourhood Watch) schemes
Mr Wilson also emphasised the importance of insurance as it provides farmers with financial security and supports their livelihood.
He added ” If items are stolen or damaged it could be very difficult to afford to replace them – causing knock-on effects to the running of the farm itself until a replacement vehicle is found.
“If the vehicle in question needs to be on a public road at any stage, it will need at least third-party insurance. It could also save money to insure all vehicles under the same policy – including other transport used on the farm such as quads or 4x4s and even a car which can be classed as business and social use – as long as any vehicle on the road does not use red diesel, as this could invalidate the policy.”