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Does my farm need livestock insurance?
As a new farmer, I’m curious about what all is covered under my insurance. I'm getting livestock soon and wanted to know if there is specific livestock coverage for my goats and chickens.
Yes, there is livestock insurance that would cover your goats. There is also poultry coverage that would have coverage for your chickens. Each of these policies is typically an additional coverage or policy on your farm insurance package. Your independent insurance agent will know how to insure your livestock properly and what your current policy may include or need added on to be sure your coverage is accurate and sufficient.
Does my farm insurance require me to have crop insurance?
How does crop insurance work and am I required to have it? What if I don't think I need it, I mean what's the worst that could happen?
Crop insurance is regulated by the government with regard to multiple peril crop Insurance, or MPCI. This coverage is not typically mandatory, but not having it could mean a huge financial loss if there is drought, disease or or other damage done to your crops. The other type of insurance is crop-hail insurance. This isn't regulated through the federal government, but could nonetheless save your crops. Insurance is always a good idea, mandatory or not. It could mean the difference between saving your livelihood or throwing in the towel. Speak with your independent insurance agent on specifics.
Am I required to have barn coverage on my farm?
I have an older barn and just don't care about coverage for it. It's not one that I typically use and it's kind of falling apart. Do I really need to include this barn in my farm policy?
Most insurance companies will not want to extend liability coverage for a barn if it's dilapidated, not up to code, or the like. If you have an old barn or just don't care about your barn being insured, then the insurance company may have something to say about it. Since your farm policy will have liability that extends throughout all of your land, they will be obligated to provide coverage, at least liability coverage, for where your barn sits. If your barn isn't in good order, they could ask you to remove it or repair/replace it before they will cover the rest of your farm. Now if you don't care about coverage to replace the barn should it be demolished, that is typically an option and would just mean you wouldn't get a check to rebuild it. Speak with your independent insurance agent to get further information.
Does my farm require heavy machinery coverage?
I am thinking of getting a Ditch Witch and a large thresher to help run my farm. I am not sure if I really want coverage for them because I'm not sure it's worth the premium. Do I have to get coverage on heavy machinery if I would rather cover that expense myself?
Well, that depends. Coverage for your heavy machinery or farm equipment is typically required if you have any kind of loan on any piece. The lender is going to require protection for their asset and will want proof, so you may not have a choice. If you own the Ditch Witch and thresher outright, then the choice for replacement cost is really yours. Now, you will have liability that extends from your general liability coverage in case someone gets injured while using equipment or machinery, but it's up to you whether you want coverage to replace if it's damaged, stolen, or vandalized in a covered claim. However, the cost typically isn't that high for a machinery policy and may be worth the premium. Discuss this with your independent insurance agent to get all the pricing and coverage options so you can make the right decision for you.