The farmer who was refused a renewal on his insurance in the middle of the foot- and-mouth epidemic has been offered a lifeline by RK Harrison.

Tom Warde-Aldam, near Hexham, Northumberland, made national headlines when Marsh Private Client Services told him that the Lloyd's syndicate had refused to renew the section on foot-andmouth. This was despite the policy's having been renewed for the past 30 years.

RK Harrison has stepped in to offer Warde-Aldam cover. But there are two conditions. Firstly, he must place all his insurance through RK Harrison, and secondly, the foot-and-mouth section will be excluded for 30 days. The cover is underwritten by Norwich Union.

“We will try to get a quote for farmers on a case-by-case basis, depending on the risk,” said regional director Pat Jones.

Warde-Aldam is still considering his options.

  • Insurers' losses from the foot-and-mouth outbreak are unlikely to exceed £50m, says Standard & Poor's (S&P). The losses will mostly come from business interruption policies triggered by denial of access and cancellation of events, plus some specialist foot-and-mouth cover.

    The £50m figure is much lower than the total economic cost of £9bn estimated by the Centre for Economics and Business Research. But S&P warned that if the containment period were prolonged and sparked recession, related arson and burglaries could cause insured losses to rise.

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