NFU Mutual has announced its plans to support farmers and rural communities through a £32 million coronavirus support package.
The package will donate millions to local and national charities, as well as rural and mental health causes, to help support the countryside through the pandemic.
It will be made up of a £24 million insurance package of increases to cover, a £5 million support scheme to the local agency network, a £1.8million increase in charitable donations and a £1.35 million change to the claims process.
Farmer and chairman of NFU Mutual, Jim McLaren, said: "Our wide-ranging £32m support package includes financial support for rural charities, together with additional insurance cover to help our members. Our 300 agent offices, based in the heart of our rural communities, will also be distributing funds to local causes.
“British farmers and growers are playing a vital role in the national effort, despite facing enormous challenges themselves. Adding protection for farmers will support the agricultural industry when the nation needs it most.
“Streamlining our claims process is also making it easier for our members to get the payments they need, quickly and safely at this critical time.”
NFU Mutual has already set up a £1 million emergency coronavirus fund at local levels, which is to be released via the agency network to help local charities and communities across the UK.
A further £750,000 donation to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust will enable donations of up to £1 million to support national organisations, which will reach the isolated and vulnerable experiencing stress and worry, as well as families facing financial challenges due to Covid-19.
For farmers who are self-employed, NFU Mutual will include insurance for COVID-19 in Personal Accident and Group Personal Accident policies, for new and existing customers. It is expected to provide £12 million worth of pay-outs for members affected by the illness in 2020.
NFU Mutual has developed a range of insurance cover changes to protect its policy holders.
These will include increased cover in key farming sectors, alongside continued availability of its existing uncollected milk insurance at a time when many insurers are ending cover, and free extended public liability cover for farmers selling their own produce directly to the public.