New generation of good life smallholders are raising livestock and growing crops

New insurance package protects against range of rural hazards

Smallholders may be unaware of risks of high costs if animals injure public

The UK’s new generation of ‘good life’ smallholders may be at risk because their standard home insurance does not cover the risks their smallholdings present.

To address the issue, leading rural insurer NFU Mutual has launched a new cover package to meet the needs of the growing number of people who are adopting a country lifestyle by running a smallholding.

“We’re seeing a lot of people buying up country properties with land attached so they can keep a small herd of sheep, goats or exotic animals like alpacas and grow produce for their own use or to sell locally,” said Chris Walsh, NFU Mutual Farm Insurance Specialist.

“While running a smallholding is many people’s dream of a perfect lifestyle, it also brings risks of huge costs if things go wrong. Animals can stray onto roads and cause accidents, for which their owners can be held responsible; livestock can become seriously ill; or produce sold to the public can cause problems.

“In addition, smallholders’ tools and equipment – tractors, mowers, chainsaws and the like - are expensive pieces of kit which are at risk of being stolen from sheds and outbuildings.

“Our smallholder insurance has been developed with the experience of over 100 years protecting the UK’s farmers with the aim of preventing the trials and tribulations of raising livestock and crops spoiling the delights of running a smallholding.”

Rosemary Champion, who gave up a full-time job to run a smallholding in Scotland with her husband, explains the joys of running a smallholding: “We always dreamed of producing our own food and now grow enough for us - and sometimes for our family and friends too.

“Both Dan and I worked full-time before moving here. Now I work on the smallholding and Dan still works elsewhere - but provides his strong back at weekends and evenings. It’s definitely hard work - but so rewarding. While early mornings and late nights are now my ‘9 to 5’ I am able to spend my time doing what I love.”

The couple have developed their smallholding near Dundee and now have over 120 hens, 3 pigs, 17 sheep and a small herd of cattle.

NFU Mutual’s smallholder insurance is available as extension to its Home and Lifestyle and Bespoke policies for smallholdings up to 25 acres. It is designed for people whose smallholdings generate an income of up to £10,000. Larger farm enterprises can be protected under an NFU Mutual farm policy.

With its roots firmly in the countryside, NFU Mutual insures over 70% of the UK’s farmers together with many homes and has a network of over 300 offices across the country with staff who have farming knowledge.

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