The rural insurer dealt with more than 80 combine harvester fires last year, including eight which were valued at over £100,000 each. In an attempt to reduce the number, the company is offering incentives for combines fitted at point of purchase, or retro-fitted, with suppression systems which meet P-mark certification standards.
The discount for this new scheme is 15% on combine insurance for customers fitting an approved P-mark system (final premium reduction is subject to vehicle usage and policy conditions).
The P-mark approved suppression kits involve dual agent systems which have two cylinders, one with powder and the other with a foam. The powder acts by interrupting the chemical reaction taking place and cutting off the oxygen supply.
The foam suppressing agent in the second cylinder rapidly cools superhot surfaces of over 200°C in larger engine bays which also hold turbo chargers and filters.
“When an engine bay catches fire, it needs to be rapidly detected, effectively contained, and quickly extinguished,” said Tom Murray from the agricultural vehicle underwriting team at NFU Mutual. “Tests have shown that fires can be reduced or prevented altogether by suppression systems.”
“Wider adoption of fire suppression systems could be a serious game changer for arable farming - helping protect lives, property and this year’s harvest,” said Bob Henderson, who heads NFU Mutual’s engineering team. “While insurance can cover the cost of a replacement, farmers still risk losing critical harvesting time during a tight weather window and huge difficulty hiring a combine when machines are in high demand.”
In a recent live demonstration NFU Mutual partnered with fire suppression manufacturer Fireward and agricultural salvage firm Adam Hewitt to set fire to a combine and put a P-mark system to the test. You can watch the video below