Farms are one of the most important industries in the United States. They provide food for residents both here and abroad. Running a farm involves a lot of hard work and know-how, and, like any other business, is not without its risks. As the owner of a farm, you can protect yourself, your family and your business by purchasing the right insurance policies. There are many different types of insurance for farmers, so be sure to get the help you need to choose the right coverage for your particular farm.
U.S. Farm Facts
- There are approximately 2.2 million farms in America
- These farms employ more than 20 million American workers
- About 97% of all U.S. farms are operated by individuals, family partnerships or family corporations
- American farms currently produce about 262% more food than they did in 1950
- About 30% of all U.S. farms are planted entirely for the purpose of food export
- The U.S. exported $115 billion worth of agricultural products in 2010
Farmers Need Personal Insurance
Many Americans who work for corporations have benefits packages that include important features such as retirement savings plans and insurance plans. If you own your own business, you will need to purchase these policies on your own. Some personal farmer insurance plans to consider include:
- Life insurance: As the owner of a farm, you will want to be sure that your family will be able to afford to maintain your property if you should pass unexpectedly. A solid life insurance policy can provide your loved ones with the financial security they need to carry on the family business in your absence.
- Health insurance: Most farmers hire seasonal workers and will therefore be exempt from the requirement to provide healthcare benefits to their full-time employees. The Affordable Healthcare Act, however, will require you to purchase health insurance for yourself and your family. Good health insurance for farmers may seem hard to find, but a local Trusted Choice member agent can help.
- Dental insurance: There is a direct correlation between dental health and coronary health. Maintaining good oral health and receiving frequent dental checkups and care can not only preserve your teeth, it can help you remain healthy.
- Disability insurance: If you become severely disable in an accident and are unable to work, you and your family may face severe financial challenges. This insurance will help you maintain an adequate income while you are unable to work.
- Vehicles insurance: While you will be able to insure your farm vehicles with a commercial auto insurance policy, your personal vehicles, if not used for farm business, will need to be covered by a personal vehicle insurance policy.
Farmers Need Liability Insurance
As with any business, farmers face liability risks. You can purchase a business insurance policy that meets your farmer liability insurance coverage needs. Some coverage options may include:
- General liability insurance: If a visitor to your farm is injured on your land or in your home, you may be liable for any resulting medical costs. If you frequently host tours of your land, or if you have an on-site market for your goods, this coverage will be particularly important.
- Product liability insurance: This will protect you if the food or products sold by your farm cause illness or injury.
- Workers compensation insurance: This is required by law, but the specifics depend upon your state regulations and the number of workers you employ. If a worker on your farm is injured on the job, this insurance coverage will provide compensation for all related medical bills.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: You can insure all your farm vehicles on a single commercial vehicle insurance policy. This will protect you from liability risks if a driver of one of the vehicles injures another person or causes property damage to another.
- Non-owned or for-hire vehicle liability insurance: If farm employees are using their own personal vehicles to perform job duties, or if you hire someone to transport farm goods, your farm can be held liable for damages if that person is involved in an accident while carrying out the job. This insurance provides coverage only when the vehicles are being used for farm business.
In all instances listed above, your liability insurance coverage will also include compensation for legal fees associated with the covered event.
Farmers Need Business Property and Asset Insurance
A solid business farmer insurance policy will also provide you with coverage for loss or damage to your farm’s property and assets. You may want to consider some of the following options:
- Farm equipment insurance: You will need to be certain that you have comprehensive coverage for your expensive farm equipment such as tractors, threshers and combines. If they are damaged by fire, falling objects or natural disaster, you will be able to replace them without suffering a large financial loss.
- Homeowners insurance: In many cases, farm insurance policies permit farmers to insure their family home on their business insurance policies. This can save you money on your home and contents (personal property) insurance coverage.
- Farm structure insurance: Your farm insurance policy should provide coverage for structures on your land such as barns, silos, pens, chutes, dairy parlors, confinement facilities and corral fencing. Be sure that you purchase sufficient coverage for these structures so that if they are destroyed in a catastrophic event, you will have the necessary funds to rebuild.
- Livestock insurance If your farm keeps livestock such as cows, sheep, goats or swine, you can purchase insurance coverage so that if they are killed by an event such as an accidental shooting, electrocution, or due to severe weather or problems during transport, you will be able to replace them and continue with your business.
- Crop insurance: This provides reimbursement if you lose a large portion of your crops due to uncontrollable events such as heavy winds, drought, hail or extreme temperatures.
- Continuation of income insurance: If a covered event forces you to temporarily cease operations on your farm, this insurance coverage will provide you with a continuation of income so that you can make your monthly payments and pay any salaried employees you may have.
Learn More About Farmer Insurance
As a farmer, you have many coverage needs. When searching for suitable insurance for yourself and your agricultural business, you will want to be certain that you are getting policies that provide sufficient coverage at a competitive rate.
The best way to do this is comparing rates from several insurers. You can do an online search for companies and quotes, and you can also do this by calling around to different insurance companies to get quotes over the phone. In the end, just make sure you're choosing a company that's highly rated, that gives you a low price for enough coverage (remember - cost isn't everything, you have to take into account how much protection you need for your insurance dollar), and that has great customer care if and when you do need to file a claim.