Weather, plant diseases and pests can be unpredictable. Make sure the income from your crops isn’t.

How does it work?

If there is a crop shortfall in your region of at least 10%, the policy automatically pays out on the difference between the year’s actual regional yield and the DEFRA average regional yield (from the last 8 years’ harvests).* No loss assessment is required.

You can cover up to 25% of the shortfall of your projected crop production.

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What crops can I cover?

The policy is available for:

  • Winter Oilseed Rape
  • Winter Barley
  • Winter Wheat
  • Spring Barley

Case Study

Matthew Taylor farms in Cambridgeshire and takes out a crop shortfall policy for his winter wheat at a cost of £1.72/t.

His forecast selling price is £150/t for the 2021 harvest. Due to extreme drought, regional yields are below the regional average.

Matthew’s insurance policy pays out as follows.

The regional yield shortfall for the 2021 harvest is:

  • 15% – Payout £7.50/t
  • 20% – Payout £15.00/t
  • 25% – Payout £22.50/t

Want to know more?

Our Rural Divisional Director, Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn, explains more in this short video filmed on his cereals farm in Northumberland.

How has crop shortfall insurance already paid out in Europe?

Crop shortfall insurance is already a tried and tested solution in Europe, the USA and Australia as the case study below shows.

Drought protection for a German wheat co-operative

In 2016, a German wheat co-operative received the full policy payout (30% of the forecast output) following a regional drop in yield to only 6 tonnes per hectare.

Why do I need it?

Last summer, the UK’s highest-ever recorded temperature of 38.7°C was reached in Cambridge (1), which was followed by England’s fifth wettest November on record (2).

Last autumn, relentless rain led to arable farmers planting the smallest winter cropping area in decades (3).

Three of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last 5 years (4).

There is now a one-in-three chance of record breaking rainfall hitting parts of England and Wales each winter (5).

Managing crop yield volatility risk in this way will help you to smooth cash flow, plan better and keep your bank happy.

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Crop Shortfall Insurance Quote

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1. Met Office, July 2019
2. Met Office, December 2019
3. AHDB Early Bird Survey, February re-run, February 2020
4. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), US Department of Commerce, Climate Change: Global Temperature, January 16 2020
5. Thompson, V., Dunstone, N.J., Scaife, A.A. et al. High risk of unprecedented UK rainfall in the current climate. Nature Communications 8, 107 (2017)

Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn


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