Warning on Rising Damage Claims; Farming

Article excerpt

COUNTRYSIDE insurance broker Lycetts, of Newcastle, is urging farmers to review their insurance in the light of dramatic increases in agricultural commodity prices.

With crops worth billions of pounds in store on farms, Lycetts experts find farmers do not have sufficient cover.

The value of crops such as wheat and barley has doubled in a year and there is concern farmers might be out of pocket should crops be damaged, for instance by fire.

Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn, of Lycetts rural division, said: "In contrast to the relatively stable stock markets of late, the markets for soft commodities such as wheat, barley, oilseed rape, peas and beans, have become very volatile, especially over the last four months.

"Latterly these markets have been undervalued and following mixed harvests worldwide in countries such as Australia, global stocks are at a 30-year low."

Other factors include:

Low intervention stocks have left the EU with little ability to control markets;

Increasing consumer demand globally, especially from India and China;

A shift away from wheat to maize production with an increasing emphasis on biofuel crops in the US;

Export licences have been put on hold in the Ukraine. …