Every year, farms in Illinois’ Lake County produce nearly $40 million worth of commodities. If you live in the Lake Bluff area and own one of the more than 300 farms and ranches in this county, you will want to be sure to protect the investment you have made in your property with a suitable farm insurance policy.
Local independent agents can help you review policies and prices from a variety of the area’s most highly rated insurance companies. That way, you can be sure you are getting suitable farm insurance coverage at a great price. Contact an insurance agent in or near Lake Bluff to start comparing customized quotes.
What Is Farm Insurance?
Farm insurance (sometimes referred to as “farm and ranch insurance”) is a specialized policy that is designed to meet the unique coverage needs of farm and ranch owners. It combines coverage for your home with coverage for your farming business in an easy-to-manage, fully customized policy package.
Independent insurance agents can help you review your various coverage options as you build your farm insurance policy. That way, you can be sure you are purchasing a policy that covers you against all of the hazards you are likely to face as a farmer in the Lake Bluff area.
Is Farm Insurance Required in Lake Bluff, IL?
A farm insurance policy is not required by law, but it may be required by your lender if you still owe on a mortgage for your farm property. Otherwise, while a policy itself may be optional, some of the coverage it includes may be required. The following are examples of coverage you may be required to carry:
- Worker's compensation insurance: This is required if all your farm employees combined do at least 400 days of work.
- Commercial vehicle insurance: This is required for any farm vehicles that you or your workers may operate outside your farm property.
- Product liability insurance: If you sell goods at farmers markets, some may require you to carry this coverage before you can be approved for a booth.
Whether or not it is required, farm insurance is a very good idea. Without it, a major disaster like a tornado could result in your losing your home, business, and livelihood. Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about the many benefits of carrying farm insurance.
How Much Does Farm Insurance Cost in Lake Bluff, IL?
Prices for farm insurance can vary significantly from one farm to the next. A large farm that grows many acres of corn and soybeans will have very different coverage needs than a small farm that primarily makes its money from raising chickens and goats.
Costs for farm and ranch insurance are calculated according to a number of factors such as:
- The size and value of your farm and farmhouse
- The number and types of outbuildings located on your property
- The annual revenues generated by your farm
- The value and types of vehicles, equipment, and machinery owned and operated by your farm
- The types of crops you grow and/or the kinds of livestock you raise
- The number of farmhands you employ and the number of days they work per year
- Whether your farm is open to the public
- The coverage options you plan to include in your policy
Every insurance company has its own way of assessing risk and calculating rates. It pays to comparison shop before choosing a policy. Independent insurance agents in Lake Bluff can help by providing you with a variety of customized farm insurance quotes that you can compare together.
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What Does Lake Bluff Farm Insurance Cover?
As with home and business insurance, farm insurance provides a combination of liability and property insurance coverage.
Farms and ranches are more than just homes. They are businesses. Because of this, they have a variety of liability risks. That is why all farm insurance policies offer a wide range of liability coverage. This insurance is designed to pay for court costs, legal fees, and damages if you or your farm is sued for a covered event.
The following are some of the many types of liability coverage that your insurance agent is likely to discuss with you:
- Premises liability insurance: This can pay for third-party damage and injuries if visitors, guests, or customers are involved in an accident while on your farm or ranch property.
- Product liability insurance: This can pay for third-party illnesses, injuries, or other damage if a product that your farm or ranch sells or produces is defective or contaminated in some way.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This can pay for damage or injuries sustained by others if you or one of your employees is responsible for a collision while driving a farm-owned vehicle.
- Worker's compensation insurance: This can pay for the cost of treating work-related injuries and reimbursing workers for lost wages if they need to take time off to recuperate after being injured on the job.
An independent insurance agent can help you review these and other liability coverage options that are available to you. Together, you can determine which policies are a good fit for your Lake Bluff farm or ranch, and your agent can help you find suitable coverage at an affordable price.
In 1972, an F4 twister touched down in Lake Bluff and caused millions of dollars in damage to area homes, businesses, and farms. Twisters are unforgiving and could potentially destroy all of your farm property.
In addition to tornadoes, farm and ranch owners in the Lake Bluff area are most likely to experience property damage caused by severe storms, heavy winds, and hail. Fortunately, your farm insurance policy can provide coverage for your expensive farm assets against each of these perils.
Some of the property that your farm insurance policy can cover includes:
- Your farmhouse: If you live on your farm or ranch, farm insurance can provide you with coverage for the structure of your home (dwelling insurance) as well as for the personal property inside it (contents insurance).
- Outbuildings: Farm insurance can cover the structure and contents of the other structures on your property, including bunkhouses, barns, silos, stables, sheds, and garages.
- Equipment and machinery: Farm insurance can cover the cost to repair damage to your farm equipment and machinery, including tractors, plows, balers, cultivators, sprayers, and sprinkler systems.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more about how farm insurance can cover your valuable farm property.
What Additional Coverage Is Available for Lake Bluff Farm Owners?
Farm insurance providers also offer a few policy options. This enables you, as a farm or ranch owner, to customize your coverage to meet your specific coverage needs. Some optional coverage that you may want to add to your farm insurance policy include:
- Livestock insurance and poultry insurance: When building your farm insurance policy package, you will need to buy specialized policies to cover the investment you have made in your farm animals. Livestock and poultry insurance can cover losses related to animal deaths and illnesses caused by hazards like severe weather events, predatory animals, loading and unloading accidents, fires, and electrocution.
- Specialized property insurance: You may be surprised to learn that some of the property on your farm or ranch may be excluded from regular farm property insurance coverage. An independent agent can advise you if you need to purchase special endorsements to cover items such as electric fences, feed, and irrigation systems.
- Equipment breakdown insurance: This optional insurance covers the cost of repairs if your farm equipment breaks down or otherwise malfunctions. Equipment must be well maintained for this coverage to apply. If equipment repair will take a long time, this insurance may also cover the cost of renting comparable equipment so you can keep your farm operations running smoothly.
- Debris removal insurance: Severe weather events like storms and tornadoes can result in excessive debris on your farm or ranch property. This insurance can pay for the cost of timely cleanup. That way, you can get back to normal operations as quickly as possible.
- Farm income insurance: Unanticipated problems can sometimes result in much lower-than-expected profits for your farm or ranch. This insurance is designed to make up the difference between expected and actual profits if your farm’s operations are hindered by a covered event.
Talk to an insurance agent near you to learn about these and other coverage options that are available to you. Your agent can help you decide which, if any, are a good fit for your Lake Bluff-area farm or ranch.
What Is Not Covered by Farm Insurance?
Farm insurance covers a lot of property, but it does not cover everything. Your policy will not cover damage caused by floods and does not cover your crops. To be covered, you will need to purchase separate, supplementary policies.
- Flood insurance: As with traditional home and business insurance policies, flood damage is not covered by farm insurance. The good news is that you can purchase an affordable commercial flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). An independent insurance agent can help you get up to $500,000 in structural coverage and $500,000 in contents coverage for your farm.
- Crop insurance: Crop insurance is designed to cover loss or damage to your crops. Coverage can be purchased through any insurance company that has been approved by and is working in conjunction with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC). An independent agent can help you find the best and most affordable policy.
When you work with a local independent insurance agent, you can rest assured that your farm or ranch isn’t left with any unintended coverage gaps.
What Is Crop Insurance and How Is It Different from Farm Insurance?
Farm insurance covers a lot of farm property, but it does not cover your crops. For that, you will need to purchase a separate crop insurance policy.
Crop insurance is designed to cover loss or damage to your crops as well as significant drops in commodity value. There are three types of crop insurance. You can opt to buy just one or a combination of coverage:
- Multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI): This is designed to cover your crops against a wide range of hazards including tornadoes, floods, droughts, insect infestations, and plant diseases.
- Crop-hail insurance: This is designed to cover your crops against hail damage only. While this coverage is much less expensive than multiple peril crop insurance, its coverage is very limited.
- Crop revenue insurance: This is designed to cover against lost or lower-than-expected revenue due to a low crop yield or an extreme drop in the price of the commodities you produce on your farm.
A local independent agent can provide more information about crop insurance and can help you find a suitable policy to supplement your farm insurance coverage.
What Is the Best Way to Get Farm Insurance in Lake Bluff, IL?
When you are looking for the best insurance to cover your Lake Bluff farm, look no further than a local independent insurance agent. These agents live and work in your community, so they are familiar with the hazards you are likely to face as a farm or ranch owner in northeastern Illinois.
A local independent agent can help you build a suitable farm insurance policy that provides coverage against all your business’s risks and exposures. Also, because they are not tied to a single insurance company, these agents are free to shop around in order to find you the coverage you need at the most competitive price.
Contact an insurance agent in or near Lake Bluff to learn more about your options when it comes to farm insurance.