by Gwenno Davies, Account Executive, FUW Insurance Services Ltd
Livestock worrying - It's heart-breaking to say that this is becoming more and more of an insurance issue, especially during the past year.
At FUWIS we have more than one company that insures Welsh farms, so the figures and information I'm talking about are very general and you can think differently for each customer depending on their policy.
We are coming up to such a busy time for farmers and it is so important that the sheep receive the best possible attention without too much stress.
Obviously during this time the value of the stock on our land is higher than normal and it is therefore essential that you make sure you have the right and adequate cover on your insurance policies.
It is so depressing that as farmers, you have to face the loss, but by insuring against livestock worrying properly on your farm policy, we can at least help with the cost of the loss you are facing.
For example, with one of the companies we can use, if you add 'worrying cover' for £50,000 worth of sheep - it would only cost an extra £3 a year with no excess if claiming. In addition, some of our companies offer vet costs up to £750 if the animal is still alive and needs treatment, but please ask your Account Executive to look at your policy.
With a premium that is likely to be so low, I would contact your local FUW agent to add the cover and also make sure the value is correct and reflects the true value of the stock.
Each claim is different, and is dealt with in person but usually all you need is a claim form, a veterinary letter confirming the impact of the injuries and a letter confirming the value of the animals from a professional such as an auctioneer.
Also, I would always suggest taking photos of the animals after the attack, and also the dog if you see them. If you see and identify the dog and the owner, it is possible to reclaim all the costs of your loss through their house contents insurance, as an individual's 'liability' is covered on personal policies.
In the last year, the average cost of FUW 'worrying' claims were around £900, so they are no longer a small problem and more often than not one or more animals are injured.
So, check with your Account Executive for the cover.