Insuring beef cattle in Australia

Insuring beef cattle in Australia

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THE beef cattle industry makes an important contribution to the Australian economy.


THE beef cattle industry makes an important contribution to the Australian economy.

In 2015-16 it accounted for about 23 per cent ($13.1 billion) of the total gross value of farm production and 22pc of the total value of farm export income.

About 57pc of all Australian farms carry beef cattle.

It's an industry that requires specific insurance covers to enhance the prospects of maintaining a profitable business.

There are generally two types of insurance cover that can be obtained for your cattle, one being a stud stock policy that can enable you to cover your stud bulls and heifers against:

  • Death due to an accident
  • Death due to an illness or disease
  • Loss of use due to an accident (bulls)
  • Loss of use due to an illness (bulls)

This type of cover may also include:

  • Automatic cover, right from the fall of the hammer at sales
  • Insured agreed value right from the fall of the hammer at sales
  • Cover from private sales
  • Death due to destruction on humane grounds
  • Death caused by accident during transportation

Exclusions can apply and may include (but not limited to):

  • Genetic infertility
  • Veterinary costs or surgical costs, unless agreed upon with the insurer and the procedure performed to preserve the life of the animal.
  • Certain causes of death, including such things as foot and mouth disease or footrot to name a few.

Other covers that may be needed, such as transit insurance, that can either be added to an existing farm policy or taken as a separate cover, may be more extensive than that provided under the stud livestock policies.

The alternative to the stud stock cover (above) or in addition, to cover the entire herd is the livestock cover provided under most farm insurance policies. This section of the farm policy may be able to extend to also cover your working dogs for specific events.

Each policy will vary in both their cover and exclusions but in general you should look for a policy that covers:

  • Death of livestock caused by fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake or malicious damage
  • Death of livestock caused by impact by any vehicle or aircraft
  • Theft of livestock up to an agreed sum insured (this may be less than your total livestock sum insured).
  • Destruction, certified by a veterinarian, for humane reasons, following an insured event (for example, fire).

Some of the better policies will automatically increase the insured sum insured by 30pc during the three months of high fire danger, at no extra cost.

It is wise to check insurance cover for public liability, to ensure that you (the owner of the livestock) are covered should the stock escape and become involved in a collision.

It's best to speak to your local insurance broker, who will be able to search the marketplace for the insurance covers that suit your requirements.

  • Details:

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