Digging deep this post harvest season?

Throughout the year farmers don’t just work on the crops that grow above ground. Many will need to make repairs & alterations to fences, install new ditching and more. Often this involves the digging of trenches that run along underground service lines. These are the channels that carry water, gas, electricity and telecommunications across many towns and cities that run through fields.

If you work on or around these underground services, it is a condition precedent in many policies that you undertake reasonable checks prior to work starting to avoid damaging them. If you were to dig up these cables, or damage the pipes, these can often lead to costly public liability claims.

Many of our partner insurers have stated warranties within their policy wordings or in your policy. An example one here, from NIG FarmWeb, reads:

“In respect of loss or damage to cables pipes or other services located underground it is a condition precedent to liability of the Company that the Insured, prior to undertaking digging boring or excavation, has:

A) take or caused to be taken all reasonable measures in to identify the location of such cables pipes and services before any work is commenced which may involve a risk of damager thereto. Reasonable measures include use of CAT scanning equipment where it is possible cables pies or services are under the site:

B) retained a written record of the measurers which were taken to locate such cables piper or other services: and

C) conveyed the location of such cables pipes and services to those who are carrying out such work on behalf of the insured. ”

However large or small the works undertaken, farmers need to ensure they carry out adequate checks. Builders and other tradesman have been used to this condition for many years; now farmers should make this part of their normal routine.

For more information, contact your dedicated Commercial Executive.