Farm Insurance Protects You and Your Farm From Serious Losses
Farm insurance protects farmers from loss of structures, equipment, livestock and crops. In addition, it protects the farmer from liability claims for bodily injury or property damage to others.
Those who are running a true farm business, no matter the size, should probably consider farm insurance. Farm insurance is probably not necessary for the small hobby farmer or homesteader.
Before you begin to search for farm insurance you should have a business plan for your farm and a detailed account of the potential losses you could face. Your insurance agent and potential insurance carriers will want to know the scope of your operations, the products you intend to produce, the crops and livestock you will grow and raise, whether or not you will have employees, and the type of equipment you will use.
Insurance is available for nearly every type of activity that takes place on a farm. It is one of the best ways to mitigate the risks you face, from weather disruptions to accidents, market devaluation and much more.
Most farming operations will need the following basic types of coverage. You might also need certain types of specialty coverage, depending on your operation.
- Property insurance for your farmhouse, outbuildings, equipment and supplies. It protects you if they are damaged by fire, flood or other covered perils.
- Liability insurance for claims that you or your employees have injured another person or damaged another person’s property.
- Crop insurance to protect a particular crop or to cover any losses due to crop failure or even market failure. The USDA Risk Management Agency offers crop insurance programs through private companies.
- Livestock insurance for those who rely on animals to earn a living. It allows you to recoup losses due to a variety of disasters. You can choose from broader policies that cover specified perils and exclude others, or full-mortality policies for individual high-value animals.
- Group policies are available to groups of producers or businesses that are engaged in the same enterprise. These policies can be purchased at a more economical rate for each insured farm.
- Additional living expenses coverage to provide reimbursement for temporary housing, hotels, and other expenses incurred during periods of lost income or inability to live on your farm.
If you have employees, you may also need workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, if you offer u-pick crops, farm tours, a petting zoo or some other type of tourism or public access to your farm, you likely need to consider policies that will cover the risks associated with opening your farm to the public.
What type of farm do you have? Do you think you have appropriate coverage? Do you need more specialized coverage for your type of operation?
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