A family operated farm or ranch typically has a variety of real and personal property such as farm equipment, livestock and buildings. Losses can come from perils that affect any other kind of business, such as fire or windstorm, but also from unique risks, such as the death of livestock or destruction of crops by hail.
For most farms or ranches the most cost effective and efficient way to obtain property and liability coverage is with a package policy that combines a variety of coverage’s in a single contract, similar to a Business Owners Policy (BOP) but tailored to a farm or a ranch. Though marketed under a variety of names, these policies will typically have provisions similar to the property insurance and liability insurance sections of the BOP, with the option to add various other coverage’s that you may need.
The advantage of this product is that it gives a broader range of coverage at a lower cost than is available by buying various separate policies for different risks.
Business Insurance Professionals farm and ranch insurance policies can provide complete coverage for both your commercial and personal insurance requirements. We insure almost any type of small and mid-size agricultural operation, including:
We understand the risks and liabilities that farm and ranch owners like you are exposed to. As a farmer or rancher, your insurance should cover your home and property, as well as provide personal/business liability protection.
Farm and ranch insurance also covers personal property directly related to the farming or ranch operation. This portion of the coverage can typically be broken down into three categories: farm machinery and equipment, livestock, and farm products such as seed, silage, animal feed, fertilizers and pesticides. Most farm insurance policies allow policyholders to choose broad coverages over the categories or to schedule individual items (these options work similarly to endorsements and floaters). You choose which is best for you when you speak to your agent and purchase the policy. Whether you choose to broadly cover categories or individually schedule items, we’ve broken down coverages under this portion of a farm insurance policy.
This coverage protects the policyholder from financial loss or damage of their machinery and equipment due to covered perils. Almost everything you might guess that falls under this category is covered. Tractors, combines, cotton pickers, planters, field equipment, hay rakers and other machinery are all covered. If you use a truck for farm work, you may be able to bundle a commercial auto insurance policy and add it to your overall farm insurance package. Portable irrigation equipment and portable structures and fences are usually covered as well.
Farm and ranch machinery is expensive and some of it will need to be scheduled. Farm tractors can cost more than $200,000 but they are necessary investments for many farmers. As durable as they are, a lot can happen to them. For example, say a tornado damages a tractor. There is little the owner can do to prevent that peril so they need to protect themselves financially against the loss of such an expensive piece of equipment with farm insurance.
Most farm insurance policies offer broad coverage of livestock in the event they are killed or injured as a result of a basic peril that is covered. There also are extensions that cover a much wider array of perils that that can happen to farm animals. Some of the extended policies cover things such as the death of animals by accidental shooting or if they are struck by a train or vehicle. They also might cover attacks on livestock by dogs and wild animals, as well as flood and earthquake loss of livestock.
Horses and equine animals are unique because of the variety of purposes they serve. Whether you use one or more horses for work, breeding, show or pleasure, the animals are investments that make financial sense to purchase insurance for. Companies that offer farm and ranch insurance employ special adjusters specifically for equine animals and offer a list of purchasable options to cover them. Choosing what protection is most appropriate is a decision you make with your agent.
Typical coverage options for horses include animal mortality coverage, which covers death due to a broad number of perils and theft. Perhaps more importantly, the option also covers death due to sickness and disease – this is a unique covered peril that standard livestock portions of farm insurance policies does not. Other livestock options for horses include major medical expense, surgical expense and loss of use coverages. What purpose the horse serves the policyholder determines which of the options you need to purchase. For example, say you ride your horse to herd other animals. That horse is probably a vital part of your livelihood so you need to protect that asset with insurance in the event of perils, accidents and disease. A horse you have purely to ride for pleasure might not require extensive coverage.
Feed, grain, seed and similar items considered farm products are covered by farm insurance. Remember these products are only covered while stored. Feed or grain (or other crops) growing on the property and seed that has been planted are not covered – those would typically require a commercial insurance policy if the sale proceeds exceed your policy’s incidental income limit.
Similar to a standard home insurance policy, farm and ranch insurance also provides liability protection. Liability coverage is not an option and part of every farm insurance policy because of the risks at hand. It covers bodily injury, medical expenses and property damage if necessary. Perhaps just as important, it covers attorney’s fees associated with covered incidents as well.
Even under the most strenuous precautions, accidents can occur. Farmers with years of experience operating machinery can misstep and hurt themselves. Something could startle an animal and cause it to injure a senior handler. Or for example, say an animal manages to escape, wander into a roadway and cause an accident. Even though that incident didn’t occur on your property, you as the animal’s owner would be liable.
Farm and Ranch Insurance Coverage
The following coverages are among the most common types included in an insurance policy.
Dwelling coverage protects your residence against weather related damages (fire, lightning, hail, etc) and damages resulting from vandalism and theft.
Farm & ranch household personal property coverage provides policy owners protection for their household belongings.
Fair rental value coverage pays policy owners the fair rental value of their residence in the event where their ranch becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss.
Loss of Use coverage provides additional living expenses while your home is repaired or replaced as a result of a covered loss.
Barns, sheds, detached garages and other outbuildings are covered against damages with outbuilding coverage.
Farm or ranch property insurance can provide financial protections for buildings used in your operation, your personal property used on the farm or ranch, loss of income and other farm or ranch exposures.
Farm & ranch liability can protect you from bodily injury claims or accidental property damage claims that occur as a result of your farm or ranch operation.
Equipment Breakdown Coverage Endorsement will protect a variety of appliances & devices in your dwelling from physical loss or damage resulting from a covered loss.
The property section of a farm package policy typically provides coverage for dwellings on the farm premises, including mobile homes, household personal property, both scheduled (listed) and unscheduled (unlisted) farm personal property and other farm structures. Mobile agricultural machinery and equipment is covered. Also covered is loss of use of any of this property when due to a covered cause of loss.
There are many other types of property insurance coverage that will be appropriate for some farming or ranching operations such as these:
Up to the policy limit, the liability section protects the farmer, rancher or similar agricultural establishment owner from claims alleging bodily injury or property damage caused by an incident involving the premises or operations of the insured. You have the option of adding additional coverage through endorsements. For example, if you lease employees from labor-leasing firms, there is an endorsement to add coverage for injury to leased workers.
The farmer’s package policy does not cover any vehicles—including cars, trucks or trailers—designed for use on public roadways. For these, you need separate motor vehicle insurance.
Your personal auto policy probably provides coverage for some business use of your vehicle. A personal auto policy is unlikely to provide coverage, however, if the vehicle in question is used primarily in business. It will not provide coverage for any vehicle owned by a business.
Should you be driving your truck for a business purpose and get into an accident for which you are liable, an injured person could sue you personally. Will your personal auto policy have enough coverage to pay all the damages? If not, a lawsuit may be filed against your business. You may want to discuss with your insurance agent whether you need a business auto policy.
Workers Compensation Insurance
States have varying rules about when an employer must provide workers compensation insurance, including, in some states, rules that are different for agricultural operations than for other businesses. If you have three or more employees, you should check with your state department of workers compensation to see if you are required to provide workers comp insurance.
We Insure in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming