A positive sign for the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme is that a clear majority of infected farms are now beef rather than dairy.
The company says customers who are suffering financial hardship due to the impact of the disease on their farms can apply to put their premium payments on hold for up to six months, without affecting their insurance protection.
Fidelity Life chief distribution officer Adrian Riminton says the company has a responsibility to look after its customers, particularly in tough times.
“Life insurance is all about being there for your customers when they need you. Efforts to eradicate mycoplasma bovis will likely see 126,000 cows culled over the next two years and many of our beef and dairy farmer customers will be concerned about the potential impact of mycoplasma bovis on their businesses.”
Farmers are already dealing with high debt levels, which is compounding the financial pressure, says Riminton.
In 2015 Fidelity Life made a similar offer to its dairy farmer customers who were hard hit by a fall in the farmgate milk price.
Riminton says beef and dairy farmers with Fidelity Life policies should contact their financial adviser for information about the offer.
“It’s important for farmers’ financial security - their families and their businesses - that they keep their insurance protection in place, even when times are tough. It’s also important for us to retain our customers, so this offer is a small thing we can do to help our farmer customers get through the crisis.”