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Tractor and agricultural vehicle insurance

If your farm is your livelihood, your tractor and agricultural vehicles are vital to your business. Find out more about the different insurance options available to you.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Updated 13 November 2019  | 2 min read

Key points

  • Tractor insurance can cover your trailers too
  • Agricultural insurance can cover your farm buildings and contents
  • You don't need a licence to drive a tractor off public roads

What is tractor and agricultural vehicle insurance?

Tractor insurance covers your tractor from incidents like theft and fire damage as well as insuring you for accidents.

You might be able to cover some vehicles used on your farm, like vans, 4x4s, pick-ups and other commercial vehicles under a van insurance policy instead, particularly if you use them primarily on the road.

Whether you’ve got a JCB or a John Deere, tractor or agricultural vehicle insurance can cover your largest piece of farming equipment for incidents on the road and on your own private land.

Agricultural vehicle insurance, gives wider cover - it insures all of your farm vehicles under one policy.

Agricultural insurance is not the same as agricultural vehicle insurance

The former, also known as crop insurance, covers all forms of crops, grain in-storage and other types of agricultural produce, while the latter covers the agricultural vehicles you use, like tractors and combine harvesters.

Types of tractor insurance

The level of tractor insurance you need depends on what you want to be covered for. There are three main levels of tractor insurance:

  • Third party only (TPO) - This is just cover for other people making claims against you. It doesn’t cover loss or damage to your own tractor, so you won’t be able to claim if someone steals it, for example
  • Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) - TPFT insurance includes claims from third parties, as well as claims for damage to or loss of your vehicle as a result of fire or theft
  • Comprehensive cover - The most inclusive level of cover, fully comp includes everything under TPFT, as well as cover for your vehicle if it's damaged or lost due to an accident or vandalism

What does tractor insurance cover?

  • The vehicle itself and possibly trailers, accessories, and implements
  • Any belongings you have inside and spare parts
  • You might be limited an annual mileage with standard tractor cover but…
  • … commercial tractor insurance includes extensive farming without limits
  • Vintage tractors, which covers vehicles that are used by hobbyists or taken to agricultural shows. Your tractor will need to be over 25 years old to qualify
  • Some policies specifically cover machinery manufactured before 1990

Read the policy documents carefully to see exactly what you're covered for.

Off-road agricultural vehicles, including tractors, don’t usually need to be taxed, but you should check to make sure.

You might also be able to use rebated fuel (‘red diesel’), which is cheaper than standard petrol or diesel, but you can only use your tractor for agricultural work, such as cutting hedges or verges, in that case.

What does agricultural vehicle insurance cover?

Whereas tractor insurance will only cover one specific vehicle, agricultural vehicle insurance can protect a range of farm vehicles including:

  • Combine harvesters
  • Diggers
  • Cranes
  • Trucks
  • Tractors

It might also extend to private vehicles like quad bikes.

Some insurers will offer you cover for additional drivers, so if you've got a brand-new combine harvester, don't just give someone the key - make sure they're covered to drive it first.

To cover your farm’s home, outbuildings, contents, livestock and horses, you’d need a farm insurance policy, which isn’t limited to just vehicles.

If you need even more cover than that, business cover should give you more options if, for example, your farm hosts a B&B.

Who can drive a tractor?

You don’t need a special licence to drive a tractor.

If you’ve got a full UK driving licence you can get behind the wheel, and you won’t need a licence at all to operate a tractor off public roads, on private land.

However, if you’re 16 then certain rules will apply. For example, you can only drive tractors that are less than 2.45 metres wide and tow trailers less than 2.45 metres wide, with two wheels or four wheels close-coupled.

For other agricultural vehicles, you need to be at least 18 years old to drive a vehicle weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes. You must be 21 or older to drive a vehicle of over 7.5 tonnes.

SORN

If your tractor is off the road, you can get a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) which means you won’t need to tax or insure it anymore.

Tractor security

Agricultural vehicle theft is a big problem, as tractors are relatively easy to sell on. They sell for a lot of money and are difficult to trace once broken down for parts.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your tractor security:

  • Make sure your tractor’s locked and never leave the keys in the ignition, no matter how rural your farm is
  • Don’t keep valuable items inside. Any items you do store there, keep out of sight if possible
  • Invest in an alarm and/or tracking system
  • See if you can register your agricultural vehicles with the DVLA
  • You can get security markings for vehicle parts that’ll make them harder to sell on and easier to return to you if you are a victim of theft

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