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Insurance considerations for your smallholding or hobby farm

26th February 2019

Smallholdings are increasing in popularity, whether it’s the idyllic dream of abandoning life in the city or the allure of living off your own land, being a smallholder or Hobby farmer is becoming more and more appealing.

Whether you are new to the world of Smallholding or currently reviewing your existing insurance requirements it’s important to factor in several elements when looking for the right level of cover:

Public Liability – This provides cover for injury to a third party and/or damage to their property where your negligence can be proven.


  • One of your animals escapes onto the road causing a car to swerve and crash into a wall causing personal injury and damage to the vehicle and wall.
  • A public right of way exists on your land, a member of the public falls, due to your failure to maintain the land and injures themselves.
  • The roof of one of your outbuildings blows off in a storm and causes damage to a neighbouring property.


Employers Liability – this is compulsory for ANY employer who has a contract of employment/service with someone, it doesn’t matter if the contract is formally written down, implied or just mentioned in passing and it doesn’t need to be referred to as a contract and the person in question may in fact be an unpaid voluntary helper.

Many assume that because an employee is self-employed and pays their own tax that the cover is not required, which is not the case. What is relevant is that the person/s is working under the instruction of your business.

  • Your friend helps you out when you are busy
  • Someone covers for you whilst you are on holiday or ill and unable to work
  • You have a local gardener  tidy up the land
  • You have a minder help with  feeding the lambs and keeping an eye on the livestock

In each of these scenarios you MUST have Employers Liability cover in place.

In addition to these covers, it’s worth looking at a bespoke policy that protects other elements of your Smallholding.

Changes in the seasons can highlight the dangers of under – insurance. For example, if you have cover in place for buildings on your land, whether they are commercial or your domestic home, do you know the extent of damage cover if the pipes freeze or snow damage causes the roof of the barn to collapse?

The Public Liability of your own Livestock is included as standard on the policy, however it’s worth thinking about the additional perils that could occur and if they did occur, can you afford not to be insured for them? With rural crime on the rise and livestock spending a majority of the time exposed to elements additional covers available for livestock include but are not exclusive to; Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Earthquake, Aircraft, Electrocution, theft or attempted theft, fatal injury whilst in transit or straying and mysterious disappearance.

We understand that no two smallholdings or hobby farms are alike and can offer you a bespoke insurance policy tailored to your individual needs.


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