Farming News - Insurance data shows more secure storage needed to curb farm vehicle theft

Insurance data shows more secure storage needed to curb farm vehicle theft

01 Mar 2021
Frontdesk / Finance

A specialist insurance comparison website is urging farmers to take more precautions after research reveals agricultural equipment is still unnecessarily vulnerable to theft.

Research from Quotezone.co.uk, based on over 10,000 insurance policies, shows that more than 20% of farmers keep working vehicles in unlocked garages overnight and over 15% are left out on unsecure driveways.

However, there was more encouraging news as locked garages, which are considered the safest place to keep agricultural vehicles, are the most popular storage option and account for nearly half of responses.

The farm vehicle data, which was compiled nationwide from 2019 to 2020, shows the average tractor costs £10,775. The data includes tractors (78.5% of all vehicles), diggers (9.5%) and a range of other vehicles including harvesters and quad bikes.

A recent crime survey*,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. 

Quotezone.co.uk suggests the following measures could help to increase security, and in turn might also lower some 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

Responding to the findings, Quotezone.co.uk’s founder Greg Wilson comments: “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.

“That’s one of the reasons why an insurance policy is so important.  It not only protects farmers’ valuable assets and provides financial security – it also supports their livelihood.  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.”

Recommended by 97% of reviewers, Quotezone.co.uk helps around 3 million users every year, with over 400 insurance brands across 60 different products including niche items such as farm vehicle insurance, tractor insurance and harvester insurance.

*NFU Mutual Crime Survey referenced in para five: https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/farming/ruralcrime/

Kept overnight, figures based on over 10,699 policies (2019-2020)

 

Place

 

Percentage

Locked garage

 

49.7%

Unlocked garage

 

20.3%

Driveway

 

15.8%

Public road

 

0.5%

Roadway

 

0.3%

Other (not classified)

 

13.3%