There are about 125 farms in Illinois’ Cook County. These farms cover 8,499 acres of land and produce more than $10 million in goods each year, with the top commodities being soybeans and horses. As a farm or ranch owner in the Northbrook area, you can protect the investment you have made in your farming business by purchasing a comprehensive farm insurance policy.
A local independent agent can help you review policies and quotes from some of the best insurance providers in the Northbrook area. That way, you can be certain that you are getting great coverage at a competitive price. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more about farm insurance.
What Is Farm Insurance and How Much Does It Cost in Northbrook, IL?
Farm insurance (which is often referred to as farm and ranch insurance) is a combination of homeowners insurance and business insurance that is designed to meet the distinctive coverage needs of farm and ranch owners.
Premiums for farm insurance can vary significantly from one farm or ranch to the next. In Cook County, the average farm is rather small at about 67 acres in size, so it follows that costs for farm insurance in this area will be much lower than in areas where there are many large, corporate farms.
Some of the many considerations that go into calculating farm insurance costs include:
- The size and value of your farm and its average annual revenues
- The size and value of your house
- The number and types of outbuildings on your farm property
- The value of your farm’s machinery and equipment
- 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 for direct sales
When you are looking for the best coverage for your Northbrook area farm, an independent insurance agent can help. These agents can ensure that the policy you are purchasing provides all the coverage you need at a highly competitive price.
Is Farm Insurance Required in Northbrook, IL?
For the most part, farm insurance is optional. However, there are times that certain types of coverage may be required.
- If you have a mortgage on your farm property or you have taken out a business loan, your lender may require you to carry farm insurance for the duration of your loan.
- If you hire farmhands and the combined time worked by all of your employees exceeds 400 days, you will be required to carry worker's compensation insurance.
- If your farm or ranch property owns and operates vehicles, you will need to be cover them with a commercial vehicle insurance policy that meets all of the state’s coverage requirements.
- If you plan to sell your goods at sites like the Northbrook Farmers Market, you will usually be required to carry liability insurance when applying to be a vendor.
Even if you are not required to have it, farm insurance is usually a good idea. If you do not have a comprehensive policy in place, a hazard like a tornado or a liability lawsuit could easily bankrupt your farm.
Talk to a local independent agent to learn more.
What Does Northbrook Farm Insurance Cover?
Farm insurance is a combination of home and business insurance. It follows that just as with those traditional policies, it provides you with a combination of property coverage and liability coverage.
Farm property coverage
The risk of tornado activity in the Northbrook area is 34% greater than the national average rate. One of the most damaging to strike in the area was an F4 twister that touched down 10 miles from the Northbrook city center in 1972.
In addition to tornadoes, farm and ranch owners in the Northbrook area may experience property damage caused by hazards like fire, hail, electrical storms, windstorms, and snowstorms. Fortunately, your farm insurance policy can provide coverage against damage caused by each of these risks.
Farm property that your insurance policy can cover includes:
- Your home: Your farm insurance policy can cover your farmhouse with the same kind of coverage that would expect from a traditional homeowners insurance policy.
- Outbuildings: Farm insurance can cover the structure and contents of the other structures on your property such as bunkhouses, barns, silos, garages, sheds, and stables.
- Equipment and machinery: Farm insurance can cover the cost of repairing or replacing well-maintained farm equipment and machinery such as tractors, plows, balers, and cultivators, if they break down or malfunction.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to get more information about how your farm and ranch insurance policy can cover your valuable property.
Farm liability coverage
Liability insurance is an important part of every farm insurance policy. It can shield your farming business and personal interests from losses related to potential liability lawsuits.
Farm liability insurance is designed to cover court costs, legal fees, and damages if you or your farming business are responsible for injuries, property damage, or financial loss to others.
The following are some of the many types of liability coverage that a local independent insurance agent may recommend that you include in your farm insurance policy package:
- Personal liability insurance: As with the liability insurance provided by traditional homeowners insurance policies, this can provide coverage if you or someone in your household is unintentionally responsible for injuries, property damage, or financial losses to others.
- Premises liability insurance: This can cover third-party injuries sustained in accidents on your farm property for which your farming business can be deemed responsible. This is of particular importance if your farm is open to the public.
- Product liability insurance: This can cover third-party illnesses or injuries caused by products produced and/or sold by your farm, such as if the crops you are selling at a farmer’s market are found to be contaminated with E. coli.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This can cover your farm’s financial obligations if you or one of your employees is responsible for an accident with someone else while driving a farm-owned vehicle.
- Worker's compensation insurance: This can cover your employees’ medical expenses and lost wages if they are injured while doing their jobs.
Independent insurance agents can help you decide which of the many available liability insurance products that are available to you make a good fit for your Northbrook area farm or ranch. These agents can also ensure that you are getting all the coverage you need at a competitive price.
What Additional Coverage Can a Northbrook Farm Insurance Policy Provide?
The coverage needs from one farm to the next can differ significantly. And ranch owners may have different considerations than farmers whose main commodity is crops. That is why farm insurance policies offer additional optional coverage you can add to your policy.
Some of the coverage options you may want to consider include:
- Specialized property insurance: You can purchase special endorsements to cover some farm property like fencing, feed for your livestock, and irrigation systems, which are often excluded from regular farm property insurance coverage. An independent agent can advise you if you need this additional coverage for all of your farm property to be suitably covered.
- Livestock insurance: Livestock like horses and ponies need special endorsements if you wish to cover them under your farm insurance policy. A livestock insurance endorsement can provide coverage if your animals are killed, injured, or sickened by hazards like fire, severe weather, predatory animals, loading and unloading accidents, traffic accidents while transporting, and electrocution.
- Debris removal insurance: If your farm or ranch is impacted by a fire or a severe weather event, it can be littered with debris in the aftermath. Debris removal coverage can pay for the cost of a timely cleanup so that your agribusiness can quickly return to normal operations.
Talk to an insurance agent near you to learn about these and any other available policy options that may be a good fit for your Northbrook-area farm.
What Is Not Covered by Northbrook Farm Insurance?
Farm insurance covers a lot, but not everything. Specifically, it will not cover damage to your crops, and it will not cover against floods. Because of this, it may be necessary purchase the following supplemental policies:
- Crop insurance: This is federally backed coverage that is designed to cover loss or damage to your crops caused by severe weather events like hailstorms and tornadoes and other hazards like insect infestations and disease. It can also cover against unexpected drops in commodity prices.
- Flood insurance: This is federally backed coverage that is designed to cover against flood damage to your home and farm property. A commercial flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) allows you to purchase up to $500,000 in structural coverage and $500,000 in contents coverage for your farm.
Local independent insurance agents enable you to rest assured that your farm or ranch is appropriately covered against all its potential risks by helping you find all the supplemental coverage you may need.
What Should Northbrook Farmers Know about Crop Insurance?
Crop insurance coverage can be purchased from any insurance provider that has been approved by and is working in conjunction with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC). This insurance is designed to cover against losses in revenue caused by unavoidable damage to your crops as well as against significant drops in your crops’ commodity value.
There are different types of crop insurance available, including:
- Multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI): This covers your crops against damage caused by hazards like floods, droughts, storms, insect infestations, and diseases.
- Crop-hail insurance: This covers your crops against hail damage only. Although this insurance is much less expensive than MPCI, its coverage is very limited, and it may not be a good idea for a farm located in an area that has a high risk of flood and tornado damage.
- Crop Revenue Insurance: This covers your farm against lower-than-expected revenue due to a low crop yield or an extreme drop in the market price of the commodities your farm produces.
Each type of coverage has specific rules about when in the growing season a policy can be purchased. A local independent agent can give you more information about supplementing your farm insurance with a crop insurance policy.
What Is the Best Way to Get Farm Insurance in Northbrook, IL?
While shopping online may seem easy and convenient, it is not necessarily the best way to get coverage for your Northbrook area farm. You may end up with a policy that leaves you with unintentional coverage gaps, and it can be difficult to get clear answers to your insurance-related questions.
That is why it pays to work with an independent agent. These local insurance professionals can offer personalized service and trustworthy advice. Best of all, because they are independent, they are free to shop around to find you the coverage you need at the lowest available price.
Arrange a consultation with an insurance agent near you to get started.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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