After record snowfalls and plunging termperatures in many parts of the UK, England suffered its coldest month for almost 25 years in December. The freezing weather brought severe logistical headaches to farmers across the county from the end of November.
NFU Mutual received 7,000 claims from farms, rural houses and businesses between the end of November and the beginning of January - a total estimated value of more than £40 million.
However, some farmers did not have adequate insurance cover and some had none for storm damage.
The NFU Mutual's chief claims officer, John Kenny, said some clients had their farmhouse and stock buildings covered by insurance, but did not have any cover for livestock injured or killed during storm conditions, while some farmers only thought of taking out storn cover when they saw the clouds appearing, by which time it was too late. He went on to say that no matter what insurance cover farms carry, they should not take unnecessary risks.
“Although it is tempting for farmers to try to remove snow and ice from a roof with someone in the bucket of a telehandler or something similar, or to carry out a task in a building with two to three feet of snow on the roof, they should stop and think, and remember the health and safety promise.
“There are too many instances of people being seriously, or sometimes fatally, injured in such circumstances.”