What does tractor insurance cover?

Since their invention in the early 19th century, tractors have become indispensable assets for agricultural workers across the world. With almost 14,000 registered in the UK, it is safe to say that England’s green and …

Since their invention in the early 19th century, tractors have become indispensable assets for agricultural workers across the world. With almost 14,000 registered in the UK, it is safe to say that England’s green and pleasant lands would be neither so green nor so pleasant were it not for the tractor.

New tractors can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds, but if well maintained they can last upwards of 30 years. Tractors can perform many different functions: they can act as heavy transportation vehicles or be intricately designed industrial machines built for specific purposes such as logging or digging.

Due to the variation in tractors’ unit price, size, and use, both the cost and cover of tractor insurance range widely between providers. So what does tractor insurance cover?

We are going to take a look at what tractor insurance is, the different types of tractor insurance available, whether or not you need insurance for your tractor, and who is allowed to drive them.

What is tractor insurance?

Tractor insurance is designed to cover rural motor vehicles against the unique issues that they are likely to encounter. Depending on the insurance you buy, tractor insurance provides a range of cover for vehicles against incidents such as fire damage, theft, driver injury, or third-party damage.

If you have other agricultural vehicles, tractors can be included under an agricultural or farm vehicle insurance policy, which is not to be confused with agricultural insurance. Agricultural vehicle insurance is a multi vehicle policy that covers all your vehicles in one. This means that your tractor can be insured alongside other farm vehicles such as a combine harvester, a pick-up truck, diggers, vans, and even some cranes.

So let’s jump in and take a look at what is and isn’t covered by tractor insurance.

What does tractor insurance cover?

What is and isn’t covered by tractor insurance will depend on the type of insurance you choose for your tractor. As with all vehicles, tractor insurance is divided into three broad categories: third-party only; third-party, fire and theft; and fully comprehensive. There are also optional extras available.

Third-party only

Third-party only tractor insurance provides cover for when other people make a claim against you. If your tractor causes damage to another person’s vehicle or property, or if you injure someone with your tractor, then third-party only insurance covers the cost of any bills.

Third-party only insurance does not cover loss or damage to your own tractor, so you won’t be able to make a claim if someone steals it, for example. It also doesn’t cover the driver of the tractor. So the costs of any injury sustained by yourself or a designated driver are not covered.

Third-party, fire and theft

Third-party, fire and theft insurance includes all the cover of third-party only insurance, but also any claims for damage to or loss of your vehicle as a result of fire or theft.

If you buy third-party, fire and theft insurance, it is crucial that your tractor storage complies with the stipulations of your policy. If, for example, your tractor is stolen when it was left unsecured, then it may not be covered by the insurance. Therefore, it is crucial that you are familiar with the terms of your policy and that you adhere to the safety and security requirements at all times.

Fully comprehensive

Fully comprehensive tractor insurance is the most inclusive level of cover. It includes everything from third-party, fire and theft, but also covers your vehicle if it is damaged or lost due to an accident or an act of vandalism. Many fully comprehensive policies will also provide a new vehicle should the tractor be written off or have repair fees that exceed 50% of its total value.

Optional extra cover

There are also many optional extras that you can get in addition to your insurance. This may include cover for any trailers or accessories that are attached to the tractor, or any tools, belongings, or spare parts that you have inside the tractor.

Vintage tractor insurance

Vintage or classic tractors are tractors that are over 25 years old. These tractors are often no longer used for day-to-day farming tasks and are found displayed at agricultural shows, conventions, and rallies.

For these vehicles, vintage (or classic) tractor insurance is recommended. Vintage insurance is designed to protect both you and your vehicle when travelling to shows, as well as any contents within the tractor, and to cover your vehicle against any issues that could specifically arise at the events it is taken to.

Is tractor insurance a legal requirement?

If your tractor is solely used for agricultural purposes and is only driven on your own land and not on public roads, then there is no legal requirement to insure it. In this scenario, there is also no legal obligation for your vehicle to undergo an MOT check or for it to be registered for road tax. However, you must still register any agricultural vehicle, including tractors, with the DVLA.

While you are not legally required to have tractor insurance for a vehicle that remains on your farm, it is a good idea to buy insurance given the nature of a tractor’s use and the work carried out by the person operating it.

If your tractor is to be driven on regular roads, then it must abide by the same rules as any vehicle. This means that a road tractor must be covered by third-party only insurance at a minimum. If the tractor is to be driven within 15 miles outside of the farm and can travel over 25 mph, then it must also undergo an MOT check. However, for tractors, an MOT check is mandatory every two years after the first four years of registration. This is different to regular cars that must have an MOT check every year after the first three years of registration. On-road tractors must also pay road tax.

If you use your tractor on regular roads and fail to comply with any of the above rules, this could result in points on your license, hefty fines, driving disqualification, or even criminal prosecution. It is also important to note that if you do not comply with these rules and are in an accident, it is likely that your insurance will not cover you or your tractor.

Who is insured to drive a tractor?

There are strict laws as to who can and who can’t drive certain tractors. The laws largely depend upon the age of the driver, the size of the vehicle, and the number of wheels it has. If a driver is found to have been illegally operating a tractor when in an accident, they will not be covered by insurance.

Agricultural tractors can be driven from the age of 16 as long as the tractors are less than 2.45 metres wide and tow trailers less than 2.45 metres wide with only two wheels, or four wheels close-coupled (close together). If the vehicle is larger than this, then the driver must be at least 17.

Drivers aged 17 or over are allowed to drive tracked vehicles, which includes some tractors. However, if you are aged between 17 and 20, the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of the vehicle cannot be more than 3,500 kg. The MAM is the maximum weight of a vehicle including the maximum load that can be carried safely while used on the road.

It is crucial that you and your drivers comply with the age guidelines when operating tractors as failure to do so will not only be breaking the law but will also mean that you are not insured.

How can you reduce the cost of your tractor insurance?

The cost of tractor insurance ranges as widely as the cost of the tractors themselves. When you are searching for tractor insurance, it is important to note that there are a number of things that you can do to bring down the cost of your premiums.

Consider the age of the driver

As we have already seen, there are age limits for drivers of certain tractor sizes, but older and more experienced drivers will also have lower premiums on their tractor insurance as well. Drivers aged between 21 and 24 have lower excesses and lower overall insurance costs than those aged 17 to 20. And the cost of insuring drivers over 25 is lower still. Also, drivers who have been driving for over one year cost less to insure than less experienced drivers.

Keep the tractor secure

Fitting the tractor with security devices such as alarms or steering locks improves the safety and security of the vehicle and is likely to reduce your insurance costs. You may also find your premiums reduced if you keep your tractor parked in a secure space, for example in a garage.

Raise your voluntary excess

Every insurance policy comes with an excess, which is the amount of money you will pay before claiming from your insurance provider. For example, if you have an excess of £500 and damages to your tractor cost £1,000, then you will pay £500 and your insurer will pay £500. If you voluntarily raise your excess, you will see a reduction in your insurance costs.

Improve your risk management strategy

If you have multiple drivers insured to drive multiple agricultural vehicles, improving your risk management strategy may mean that your insurance costs are reduced. An improved risk management strategy may include increasing the number of training sessions you have with your drivers, improving the efficiency of your incident report process, or annually checking your drivers’ personal licenses.

Shop around

When looking for tractor insurance it is important that you find the best cover to suit the specific needs of your vehicle or vehicles. By searching for quotes from a range of providers you are more likely to find better cover for a better price.


Tractor insurance provides a range of cover depending on the type of policy you opt for and the specific requirements and use of your vehicle. You can also choose to insure your tractor under an agricultural vehicle insurance policy.

Although it is not a legal requirement if the tractor is to be kept within a farm, it is highly advisable that you buy tractor insurance due to the nature of the work and use of the vehicle and to cover the workers who operate it.

A-Plan offers both tractor insurance and rural motor insurance. We tailor our insurance plans specifically for you and your vehicle. So, if you’re looking to insure your tractor, find us online and get a quote today.