Popular Questions about Farm and Crop Insurance in Illinois

Farm and crop insurance are two different types of coverage. Each can benefit Illinois farmers by protecting against common risks in this state. You can opt to buy either or both types of coverage. Many Illinois farmers purchase both.

  • Farm insurance: This is designed to cover your farm property and protect against liability risks. 
  • Crop insurance: This covers damages to your crops and shields you from large financial losses related to significant fluctuations in the price of the commodities you are producing.

An independent insurance agent can help you determine which policies can benefit you.

The most common risks faced by farmers in Illinois are severe weather, fire, commodity price drops, and liability lawsuits.

Severe weather

  • Hail: Illinois is among the states most affected by hail damage.
  • Freezing temperatures/frosts: Occasional freezing temperatures during the growing season can damage crops and present harvesting problems.
  • Tornadoes: On average, 54 tornadoes touch down in this state each year.
  • Heavy rains and floods: Between 2000 and 2018 there were more than 1,500 floods in Illinois causing approximately $3 billion worth of damages.
  • Example: An unusually wet spring in 2019 led to a 59% decline in corn production in this state.
  • Covered by: Farm insurance covers damage to buildings and machinery; crop insurance covers damage to crops.

Fire

  • Wildfires: Wildfires are not as common in Illinois as in some neighboring states, but they still pose a threat. In 2018, six wildfires burned 120 acres of land in this state.
  • Accidental fires: Accidental fires sometimes happen. If your farm house or a barn burns down, it can result in loss or damage to expensive property and kill livestock.
  • Example: In 2018, an accidental fire at an egg farm in this state killed about 50,000 chickens.
  • Covered by: Farm insurance covers damage to buildings, property, and livestock; crop insurance covers you if a wildfire takes out your crops.

Insect infestation, Disease, and Predators

  • Affecting plants: An insect infestation or unmitigated plant disease can kill crops and damage soil.
  • Affecting animals: Livestock may be sickened or killed by disease or attacked by predators.
  • Example: Illinois farmers lose about 15 million bushels of corn to root rot and seedling blights every year.
  • Covered by: Crop insurance covers you for plant diseases and infestations; farm insurance covers you for livestock diseases.

Liability lawsuits

  • Related to products: If the products your farm produces cause others to suffer illnesses or injuries, you can be sued for damages.
  • Related to third-party injuries: If you allow visitors to your farm for activities or commerce and someone is injured in an accident on your property, your farm business can be named in a liability lawsuit.
  • Related to worker injuries: Farmers in Illinois are not required by law to cover the workers they employ. Without liability protection, you can be sued if a laborer is seriously injured on the job.
  • Examples: Hog farmers have recently found themselves on the wrong end of pollution liability lawsuits due to the high quantity of nitrates and phosphates in pig manure.
  • Covered by: Farm insurance covers liability lawsuits.

Your farm isn’t just your home, it is also your business. Farm insurance is specially designed coverage that protects both.

Here’s what you can expect a standard farm insurance policy to do:

Pays For Damage to Your Farm Buildings

  • A farm insurance policy can cover the structures on your land including barns, silos, sheds, garages, and your farmhouse.
  • Example: A tornado destroys your barn and damages one of your silos.

Pays For Damage to Your Farm Property

  • Farm insurance covers your property including the contents of your home, your farm equipment like hay rakers, and your tools and machinery including tractors, balers, and combines.
  • Example: A hailstorm causes significant mechanical damages to your farm equipment.

Pays for the Costs Associated with Liability Lawsuits

  • Liability insurance covers the cost of legal defense, court costs, and damages if your farm is sued for a covered event.
  • Example: An E-coli breakout is traced back to your farm and you are sued for damages.

Covers Your Livestock

  • If your livestock are killed by a severe weather event, predators, or disease, you can receive compensation for your losses.
  • Example: Several head of cattle are killed when heavy rains lead to flooding at your farm.

Crop insurance is designed to cover loss or damage to your crops as well as significant drops in commodity value.

There are three different types of crop insurance. You can opt to buy just one or a combination of coverage:

Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI)

  • This covers your crops against a wide range of hazards including tornadoes, floods, droughts, insect infestations, and plant diseases.
  • Example: An insect infestation causes your farm to lose several acres of produce.

Crop-Hail Insurance

  • This covers your crops against hail damage only. This provides low cost coverage for high yield crops, but the coverage is rather limited.
  • Example: A major hailstorm causes you to lose 50 percent of your corn harvest.

Crop Revenue Insurance

  • This covers against revenue losses due to an extreme drop in the price of the commodities you produce on your farm. It also covers financial losses if you have a lower-than-expected crop yield.
  • Example: Unforeseen tariffs cause a significant decrease in soybean prices.

Farm and crop insurance are not required by law in Illinois, and many owners of small farms opt to go without it.

However, considering that the more than 72,000 farms in this state generate about $19 billion in revenue every year, it is easy to see why these insurance policies are important, not only to the individual farmers who carry them but to the state’s overall economy.

Talk with a local independent insurance agent to learn more about this coverage and to get help deciding whether a policy is a good investment for your particular farm.

Last year, farmers in Illinois paid a total of $277.6 million for farm insurance and $85.4 million for crop insurance. These policies provided more than $10 billion in coverage in this state.

Your cost for farm insurance will depend on several factors such as:

  • The size and location of your farm
  • The number and types of buildings you have on your property
  • The number and types of livestock you are raising
  • The types of crops you are growing and the number of acres planted
  • The value of your farm machinery
  • Whether or not you have employees, and if so, how many
  • The policy options and coverage limits to are purchasing

A local independent agent can help you obtain and compare a selection of customized farm and crop insurance quotes so you can see how much a policy will cost for your particular farm.

Yes, there are currently 1,184 independent insurance agents in Illinois who are ready to help.

Because they are independent, these agents can work with several different insurance providers to find you competitively priced farm and crop insurance policies that offer the coverage you need for your Illinois farm.

Work with an agent near you so that you can be sure that you are fully covered against all of the risks you are likely to face as a farmer in Illinois.

Independent agents compare policies and rates from a variety of highly rated insurance companies in order to find you the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

The insurance company that may be best suited for one Illinois farmer may not be the ideal choice for another. Independent agents understand this and will help you compare policies and rates from a selection of highly rated insurance companies so that you can be sure you are getting coverage from the company is this right for you.

Here are some of the insurance companies our agents work with in Illinois: 

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Farm and Crop Insurance By The Numbers

Farm

Number of farms in the US: 2.02 million 

Contractors Equipment

Average farm size: 444 acres

11-30 Employees

Provides 965,000 jobs

How Does Your City Measure Up?

CityNumber of Farms in CountyAverage Farm Size
Chicago23735 acres
Aurora759253 acres
Rockford860214 acres
Joliet877252 acres
Naperville73109 acres
Springfield1153449 acres
Peoria877296 acres
Champaign1389396 acres
Bloomington1513447 acres
Decatur708410 acres
Evanston23735 acres
Schaumburg23735 acres
Orland Park23735 acres
Tinley Park23735 acres
Mt. Vernon1156201 acres
Carbondale810277 acres
Fox Lake39687 acres