FBD says it will cover farmers who respond to local emergency situations

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Insurance provider FBD has said it will cover farmers when clearing roads during severe snow storms.

The company told FarmIreland.ie that FBD Insurance’s agricultural motor product provides insurance protection cover for farmers who respond to local emergency situations such as clearing snow from local road networks and entrances to private dwellings as seen during Storm Emma.

It comes as a spokesperson for the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG) advised that if a farmer has an accident while clearing local roads "that [it] would be a matter for the farmer and his insurance company."

Farmers have claimed they continue to have no reassurance in relation to the liability while carrying out such work.

However, FBD Insurance has said it is proud to support the voluntary efforts provided by the Agri Community during emergency situations and believe these events truly define community spirit in Ireland.

"There is a key differential between farmers working in a voluntary unpaid capacity in a time of national emergency and that of dedicated plant operators (agricultural vehicle owners) who may hold tenders or tender for contracts in a paid capacity to carry out works of this nature.

"In the latter case, details of cover needs to be sought in advance to ensure appropriate cover is afforded and confirmed by the company."

Given the scale of the resources involved in delivering the winter service, most county councils have highlighted that it is not possible to provide the service to all parts of the roads network.

Wexford County Council have said they will hire in agricultural contractors to assist with gritting operations on local roads during snow emergencies.

However, many local authorities treat less than 20pc of their road network.

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