Horticulture businesses told to review insurance ahead of forecast snow

NFU Mutual has advised businesses to review their insurance policies because the return of heavy snow could leave some glasshouses and polytunnels at risk of collapse.

The specialist agricultural and horticultural insurer received more than 100 collapsed roof claims in Scotland and more than 60 from north-east England over the past two weeks as farm buildings, including glasshouses, collapsed under the weight of the snow.

However, not all businesses had adequate cover. NFU Mutual advised people to review their insurance and ensure that they have storm cover for their buildings and premises as well as up-to-date loss of earnings cover.

A representative said: "Farm and horticultural buildings are still at risk of collapse and we advise growers to review their policies and see whether buildings are covered.

"This is particularly important for growers who have very rigid schedules, often linked to their sales contracts, and any disruption there can have a massive impact on the business as a whole."

Windmill View Plant Centre owner June Taylor-Rabjohn saw snow bring the company's uninsured £12,000 polytunnel to the ground when heavy snow hit earlier this month (HW, 3 December).

NFU Mutual was also advising growers to take extra care when clearing snow from glasshouse and polytunnel roofs because falling from height was the biggest cause of death in rural businesses.

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