Farmers whose land is polluted face huge clean-up bills under new EU environmental liability rules, rural insurer NFU Mutual has warned.
While existing public liability insurance available to UK farmers provides protection against a pollution claim being made by a third party, the introduction of the EU Environmental Liability Directive means farmers could be handed large bills for cleaning up pollution on their own land or restoring habitats, NFU Mutual Group chief executive Lindsay Sinclair has warned.
The company is offering new environmental liability cover to fill the gaps identified in traditional pollution insurance coverage and automatically added to NFU Mutual farm business policies as part of public liability cover.
“A typical scenario where the cover would help is a fuel spill from a farm diesel tank.
“These are often the result of thieves damaging valves and leaving oil running into the ground,” Mr Sinclair said.
“If the farmer acts responsibly . . . they can prevent a major pollution incident yet end up being billed for the clean-up operation.”