As a farmer or rancher, you know your livelihood isn’t exactly a 9-to-5 job. And because you don’t have a typical job, you can’t settle for typical insurance. When your farm is your business and a homeowners policy just won’t provide the protection you need for your operation, what do you need to focus on? Below are some suggestions for farm property insurance.
Farm Personal Property
Your property includes more than your home and barns; it can also include machine sheds, outbuildings and the equipment stored in them. The equipment you rely on every day to do your job isn’t easy (or cheap) to replace. Your policy should ensure that items such as your farm machinery and equipment are covered. Such policies can also include other things considered property — including livestock, fertilizers and pesticides. Even your GPS systems and computers can be covered by insurance. Confirm with your insurance provider what is included with your policy, as many of these items are often considered separate from what is covered under a homeowners policy.
Speaking of, an added layer of protection for your machinery and equipment may be necessary. Your farm or ranch operation probably requires a lot of electrical, mechanical and high-tech computer equipment. Equipment Breakdown Coverage can protect you from losses caused by electrical or mechanical breakdown, and takes into account the ever-changing needs of an increasingly high-tech way of life.
Car or pickup, you need it to get the job done. But if you own a farm or a ranch, your operation probably requires more than that. Ensure that your coverage includes things like collision coverage for your farm trucks and semis. Liability coverage can be an important element to any type of vehicle insurance you have, as it can help protect you from claims against you if there is an injury or property damage caused by your personal vehicle. Have an ATV? You’ll want to make sure that’s covered, too.
If an employee is hurt on your farm, are you covered? Keep in mind, what counts as an “employee” may include more situations than you think. Even family members helping you out for a day on the farm could leave you — and them — exposed to risk. A workers compensation policy can be a valuable (and sometimes, by law, a necessary) addition to your farm or ranch insurance. A workers compensation policy could make all the difference if an employee is hurt in the course of employment.
Do you ever invite the public onto your farm or ranch? This can be a huge risk to you. With “agritainment” (think corn mazes, pumpkin patches and u-pick apple orchards) becoming more popular every year, coverage is even more vital. If someone happens to be injured on your property, you could be the one paying if you don’t have insurance that covers an agritainment operation, whether it’s year-round or just a seasonal endeavor.
If you own horses, you’re probably already aware of the risks, and your insurance should reflect that. But say you board a horse — or horses — on your property. Did you know that the animal’s owner probably won’t be the one paying if something happens to it on your property? Equine coverage can ensure that if you’re involved in boarding, breeding, training or giving riding lessons, you’re protected. There is also care, custody or control legal liability available for horses (and other livestock) owned by someone else.
Because nothing is more unpredictable than the weather, crop insurance could be crucial to your operation. Crop insurance comes in a variety of forms, all dependent on what you grow and when you grow it. It can cover things like planting and replanting, large production losses, weather-related causes of loss, and more.
You have your property covered — but what about your income if the unexpected happens? If you have a building on your property that generates income (like a hog confinements or dairy barns), you could be looking at a huge loss of income if one of those buildings is no longer operational. Farm Operations Interruption coverage can help forestall loss of vital income.
Smarter Insurance for Agriculture®
In your business, risks abound, but so do coverages that can keep your operation running. Talk to your local Farm Bureau agent about the ways we can protect your livelihood and what matters most in your world. Whether your operation is a small, family-run affair or a large commercial one, Farm Bureau insurance offers coverage that is customizable, comprehensive — and smart.