Here in Missouri, we help local farms get the insurance they need to protect their livelihood. For farmers, it's imperative to have proper insurance--because a lot can go wrong! Your crops could be destroyed by a natural disaster. An expensive tractor could break down. Any random event has the potential to drain your finances. Since the risk is high, farm insurance was created to keep farmers from going bankrupt. There are a lot of options to make sure all your needs are covered.
The Main Coverages of Farm Insurance
Many farms have livestock, whether for husbandry or labor. These animals, especially cows and horses, can be quite expensive. As such, having coverage to protect these assets is valuable. Farm insurance policies typically provide base coverage for protecting livestock from particular perils. Check your policy for specifics, but common events may include:
For events not listed in a policy, it may be possible to get extensions for providing a broader coverage for your livestock.
There's nothing more beautiful than a field full of corn rippling in the wind. Of course, corn isn't the only crop that grows well in our country. There's also wheat, soybeans, cotton, hay, and others. For a policy protecting your crops, there are two options: crop-hail insurance and multiple peril crop insurance.
Crop-hail insurance provides protection against common perils like hail and fire, and sometimes extends coverage for lightning, wind, vandalism, and theft. Multiple peril crop insurance was formed by the federal government, in partnership with insurers, to provide more robust coverage to farmers. In addition to the typical natural events, it also covers drought, excessive moisture, deep freezes, unusually hot weather, and disease.
Insurance protecting your farm property is more wide-ranging and comprehensive. Coverage can be applied to any property you own, from machinery like a tractor or truck, to buildings like a barn or chicken coop. Some policies even provide coverage for seed stock and animal feed! Perils typically included for property are weather events, theft, and vandalism. For machinery, a policy can also cover equipment breakdown.
Most farm insurance policies provide protection for your home, too. So you wouldn't necessarily need a homeowner's insurance policy and a farm insurance policy. You could get a farm policy which includes coverage for your home and belongings. If you live away from your farm, there are also farm policies which exclude home coverage; so you could get a cheaper policy that removes this unnecessary part.
Liability coverage can sometimes be left out of a farm insurance policy. It offers protection against anyone--not just you or your employees--getting hurt on your property. An example would be a delivery person slipping while unloading goods. The coverage would also protect you against a trespasser. Believe it or not, if someone trespassed and gets hurt while cow tipping, they could sue you. The liability portion of a farm insurance policy would specifically protect you by paying for medical bills, legal fees, court costs, and other payments.
Workers' compensation would be an additional policy not included in a typical farm policy. We include it on this list because it's an important coverage for farmers. In fact, your state might require you to purchase a workers' compensation policy. It offers protection from injured workers, whether full-time, part-time, or even an intern.
Updating Farm Insurance Is Critical
As your farm grows or changes, your policy needs to be updated. If you've gotten a new tractor, storage building, cow, or anything else, you should update your policy. If coverage isn’t extended to any new addition, you could suffer a big loss. If your farm experiences a decrease, such as selling a tractor or butchering a cow, this likewise warrants an update. Since you have less to cover, you can earn a policy with a lower premium for saving money.