02 Oct Protect Your Farm Against Mother Nature’s Wrath
Protecting your farm assets includes effective insurance to reduce risk. Whether you run a small farm or manage many acres, consider these policies to protect your farm and your future.
Protect Farm Property
A standard homeowner’s policy doesn’t offer sufficient coverage for your farm, particularly if you operate for profit. It leaves valuable assets such as your outbuildings and other items necessary to your operation at risk.
Farm property insurance provides the protection you need. It protects outbuildings, feed, chemicals, fertilizers, and more from covered perils such as fire, theft, smoke, and lightning.
Vehicles Need the Right Policy
Personal auto insurance policies either exclude or limit coverage for vehicles used for commercial purposes. You need commercial vehicle insurance to protect you well. It provides broader coverage, but many of the same options you’d find in an auto policy such as liability, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Your agent or broker needs a complete list of your vehicles, including trucks, tractors, trailers, and vans and whether you use them strictly on the farm, or not. Many times, you can bundle commercial vehicle and property insurance to reduce your costs.
Liability is No. 1 Concern
Liability is the greatest risk for any business, and farming is dangerous work. You operate heavy equipment, work with chemicals, and may own unpredictable animals. If you or an employee injures someone or damages property, you could be sued.
Discuss your liability limit with your insurance professional. It should protect your total assets. If you run a substantial farm, a $1 million policy may not protect you well. Additionally, many general liability insurance policies exclude agritourism so talk to your agent or broker.
Selling Products Comes With Risks
If you make and sell products to consumers, on or off the farm, you need product liability insurance. A customer could claim your product harmed them and sue. Even if the claim is unfounded, you will carry the burden of legal and court costs arising from claims. Product liability insurance helps you shoulder these costs.
Your Machinery Merits Protection
If you operate a farm, you probably rely on machinery such as a tractor, combine, or baler. They’re valuable assets you can’t afford to lose.
Basic farm machinery coverage protects these assets from covered perils such as fire, lightning, and theft. Optional coverages include compensation for loss of use and tool replacement.
The U.S. government offers crop insurance to protect you from losses from fire, flooding, drought, hail, blight, and drops in crop prices. However, these policies are not easy to understand.
Work with your independent insurance agent or broker so your farm policies and crop insurance work together for total protection. Otherwise, an insurance gap could cost you dearly.
Protect Your Animal Assets
If your animals produce substantial income, you’ll need livestock insurance. If an animal drowns, someone shoots one accidentally, or you have a power outage which leads to death, your policy can compensate you. You can also insure expensive breeding stock separately and buy herd insurance for multiple animals.
Loss of Income Insurance
Farmers are often the sole income providers for their family. If you’re injured or become ill, what happens to your farm? Loss of income insurance can provide you with the funds you need to meet operating expenses and payroll too.
Depending on your state, business structure, and payroll, you may or may not need to pay workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Additionally, some states exempt farms when they hire migrant or seasonal workers, but many do not.
Don’t assume workers’ compensation insurance doesn’t apply to your business. Get the facts from an insurance professional.
An annual farm inventory is a great way to ensure your insurance agent matches your policy to your needs. It also helps speed the process if you ever need to file a claim.
Work with a skilled independent agent or broker. They serve you – not the insurance companies. Rely on their unbiased advice and let them tailor a policy to your specific needs to protect your farm well.
Learn more about how we can serve your farm insurance needs – contact us, today.