So you own or are thinking of owning a farm in the great state of Minnesota. Well, when it comes to Minnesota farm and agriculture laws, there's a lot that needs to be noted because there are a number of laws. But not to fear, read on for a few key laws that may affect your farm and your farm insurance coverage.
Your independent insurance agent is a fine resource when it comes to knowing all that goes into farming, how to cover it, and what laws need to be considered.
Are You In One of the Top Farming States?
There are a lot of states that have something to do with farming, but a key 16 states make the cut for the most farms, and Minnesota is one of them. Knowing how the state laws and regulations apply if you're in one of these states will help when you are setting up your insurance policies and making sure you're on the right side of the law.
|Key 16 States||Number of Farms|
Next, going over some Minnesota state laws and regulations and how they may affect your farm, big or small, is what this article is all about, so have yourself a good read.
Minnesota Agricultural Laws and Your Insurance
Minnesota is like most states that address agriculture in their laws. What it means for your farm will be based on if it applies to your farm operations as a whole. But it's safe to say that most farmers have some aspect of agriculture on their farms, so you should know the laws.
Agriculture is defined as the science or practice of farming, including:
- The cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops
- The rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products
That being said, there's a lot of insurance and a lot of laws that could fall under agriculture in Minnesota. Going over what pertains to your farm with your independent insurance agent will make certain you are properly covered.
Minnesota Livestock Laws and Your Insurance
Your farm's livestock needs to be healthy, not only to produce a bountiful livelihood, but also to make sure your farm is abiding by proper Minnesota state laws. In Minnesota, there are reporting regulations and laws that are to be followed concerning livestock disease reporting, prevention and control. Like most states, Minnesota has an Animal Traceability Program that will aid in keeping track of livestock and diseases to avoid spreading to the masses.
Once a disease gets rolling and proper containment guidelines aren't followed, it can spread faster than wildfire, infecting not only your herd but others. Your livestock insurance will cover if your livestock is attacked, gets caught in a barbed-wire fence, or is stolen, and also includes covered perils such as fire and weather. It will not, however, provide coverage for disease. Keeping your herd up to par when it comes to health could save you a whole lot of trouble and money, plus make you a good neighbor to other surrounding farms.
Minnesota Pesticide Laws and Your Insurance
Minnesota has a pesticide act in place that protects human health concerning the transportation, disposal, use, labeling, storage, distribution and application of pesticides. If you are caught doing any of the above in a harmful way or not within the pesticide's intended use, then you could not only face the legal consequences, but your insurance could have implications as well. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, aka MDA, also monitors the effects that pesticides and fertilizers have on the water in the state. After all, Minnesota IS The Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Your pollution insurance should be an endorsement or additional policy on your farm insurance. It will provide coverage if you get sued as a result of pollution and will potentially pay for any clean-up of a pesticide or pollutant. As with any insurance, the kicker is whether your intent was malicious in nature or harmful or careless; if so, then your insurance company may void the claim and cancel coverage altogether.
Handling harmful chemicals the proper way is smart and your community will thank you. So will your insurance. The safer you are, the lower your premiums and the more you save. It's all about trust.
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Minnesota Food Code Laws and Your Insurance
This you will find in every state. The way your food is manufactured, transported and handled is all regulated. If you're a farmer and your precious crops are being sold to the consumer for food consumption, then Minnesota has something to say about that.
The Minnesota Food Safety Modernization Act was established to break down and regulate food that can be consumed, the way it can be consumed, and how it needs to be regulated. There is a many-page law in effect that goes over each and every type section by section that the Food Safety Modernization Act addresses.
Your insurance concerning food and your farm's food products go pretty much hand in hand with state laws. They require you to follow the proper channels when it comes to selling your farm's food to the general public. They will want you to have spoilage coverage for if your food spoils and you need it replaced. There is also food poisoning coverage; it pays medical costs for a consumer who gets food poisoning, and pays your legal costs if they sue your farm for damages.
Get with your independent insurance agent to make sure your farm food product is pure and clean and ready to be insured properly.
The Cost of Farm Insurance Coverage in Minnesota
Just as no two states are alike, no two farms are alike, so when it comes to estimating the cost of farm insurance, there's really no way to give you an accurate figure. Every farm will have different needs, and those needs determine the amount of coverage your farm should have in place. However, there are some risk factors that could cause your premiums to up or down, depending on your farm's specifics.
Farm premium determining risk factors:
- Claims: Have you had prior farm claims? If so, your farm policy will most likely put a surcharge on your farm insurance to account for the loss for up to 5 years.
- Inventory: What does your farm have in stock? How many seeds, crops, livestock, herds, poultry and so on do you have that would need to be replaced if a major loss occurred? The more you have, the higher the premium.
- Equipment and machinery: What pieces of equipment and machinery does your farm have and what are they worth? The more money they cost, you can assume the higher they are to insure.
- Farmhouse: What's your farmhouse look like? Is it old or new? Big or small? Is it updated with the finest furnishings, or does it have a lackluster appeal? The more fancy your farmhouse is, the more it may cost to replace.
- Pole barns and other structures: What is your barn situation? How big is your barn? How many barns do you have? What are they made of?
Where to Find Farm Coverage in Your State
It's only natural to want the best, and why shouldn't you have it for your farm? Well, finding the best farm insurance company can be a daunting task if you go it all alone. Because what's best for you may not be best for every farmer across America. Having a knowledgeable independent insurance agent in your corner and in your state is your best option. They work with carriers of all kinds each and every day and know all about the most reputable carriers with the best farm insurance products.
The Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility and competitive pricing while working for you. And as your farm grows and your needs change, they'll be there to help you adjust your coverage, up or down, to make sure you're properly protected without overpaying. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Candace Jenkins
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