From crops to cattle, from tractors to tourists, agricultural businesses vary greatly in their insurance risks and needs. Some coverage types are basic for any farm, while others are more specific to the type of business for which the farm is used. Following are options available to those in the agriculture business. Contact your insurance agent to see which policies are the best fit for your farm in order to get the protection you need.
Property insurance. This type of policy is a basic for any farm. It protects your property against lightning, fire, and explosion.
Liability insurance. Because you are running a business, you need liability insurance, no matter what type of farm you own. This provides protection if someone is harmed on your property or if someone’s property is damaged due to your farming operations. It covers medical and legal costs.
Additional or specific liability. These types of coverage depend on your business and may be a good option for you:
- Animal shows/fairs. This covers your livestock when it is taken to 4-H shows or fairs.
- Building construction liability. This provides coverage for employee injuries for farmers who are adding new structures or repairing old buildings on the property.
- Farmers market liability. If a customer is injured at your market or has an allergic reaction to your product, this coverage protects you as a vendor.
- Agritourism. Hay rides, sleigh rides, and other activities usually involve risk to patrons. This insurance covers the tourist-related aspects of your farm.
Crop insurance. Crop insurance comes in two types:
- Crop-hail. This is provided by private insurers and protects against crop value loss due to hail damage.
- Multiple peril. Offering protection against all types of natural disasters, this type of coverage is provided by both the private sector and the federal government. Coverage includes damages due to drought and excessive moisture.
Pollution insurance. Many farming operations include the risk of chemical spills, fuel spills, or other pollution incidents. This policy covers cleanup, damages, and bodily injury related to pollution episodes. This option may be included as part of a general farm liability policy.
Machinery insurance. Combines, tractors, balers, and other equipment often are essential for your business and costly to repair or replace. Coverage for farm machinery helps with costs resulting from fire, lightning, or explosions. Options are also available to help cover loss of income due to machinery breakdown.
Livestock and poultry insurance. These aren’t pets; they’re your livelihood. Insuring them is important. Coverage is available for cattle, horses, hogs, sheep, goats, and more. Basic policies typically cover fire, lightning, earthquakes, flood, smoke, tornadoes, theft, wild animal attacks, drowning, entrapment, accidental shooting, and electricity. Additional coverage is available for rabies, animal birth, and accidental injury.
Hobby farm insurance. Perhaps you own a small farm that you operate solely for pleasure rather than for business. You can get a custom policy that will provide the coverage needed for your smaller-scale operation.
With so many variables in this industry, it is important to consult regularly with your insurance agent.