There are about 900 farms in Illinois’ Peoria County. These farms cover more than 250,000 acres of land and produce around $190 million of goods each year. The top commodities produced in this county are corn and soybeans, and the most commonly found livestock are hogs, pigs, and cattle.
As a farm owner in Peoria, you can protect the investment you have made in your farming business by purchasing a comprehensive farm and ranch insurance policy.
A local independent agent can help you review policies and quotes from some of the most highly rated insurance providers in the Peoria area. That way, you can be certain that you are getting great coverage at a competitive price. Consult an insurance agent near you to learn more about farm insurance.
What Is Farm Insurance and How Much Does It Cost in Peoria, IL?
Farm insurance, also known as farm and ranch insurance, is coverage that is specifically designed to meet the unique coverage needs of farm owners. It combines the protections of a business insurance policy with the coverage you would expect from a traditional homeowners insurance policy.
The cost of farm insurance can vary significantly from one farm to the next. Peoria County is home to mostly small to mid-sized family farms with an average of about 270 acres each. Rates for coverage in this area will therefore be much lower than they would be for large, corporate farms.
There are several factors that go into calculating farm insurance costs. These can include:
- The size and value of your farm
- The size and value of your house
- How long your farm has been operating and its average annual revenues
- 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 or events
The only way to find out how much a farm insurance policy will cost you is to start requesting and comparing customized quotes. Independent insurance agent can save you time and money by doing this on your behalf.
Is Farm Insurance Required in Peoria, IL?
For the most part, farm insurance is optional. However, there are times that certain types of coverage may be required.
- If your farm is still paying on a mortgage or a business loan, your lender may require you to carry farm insurance until the loan is paid in full.
- If you hire farmhands and the combined time worked by all of your employees exceeds 400 days, the state of Illinois requires you to carry worker's compensation insurance.
- If your farm owns vehicles, you will need to cover them with a commercial vehicle insurance policy that meets Illinois commercial vehicle coverage requirements.
- If you plan to sell your goods and products at sites like the Peoria Riverfront Market or the Peoria Farmers Market at Metro Centre, you will nearly always be required to show proof of liability insurance when applying to be a vendor.
Regardless of whether or not it is required, farm insurance is usually a good idea. If you do not have a comprehensive policy in place, a problem like a tornado, accident, or liability lawsuit could easily bankrupt your farm. Talk to a local independent agent to learn more.
What Does Peoria Farm Insurance Cover?
As with home and business insurance, farm insurance provides you with the property and liability coverage you need to avoid financial pitfalls.
Farm property coverage
The risk of tornado activity in the Peoria area is 86% greater than the national average rate. One of the most damaging to strike in the area was an F4 twister that touched down 7.9 miles from the Peoria city center in 1976.
In addition to tornadoes, farm owners in Peoria are at risk for hazards like fire, hail, electrical storms, windstorms, snowstorms, and freezing temperatures. 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 farmhouse: Farm insurance can cover your house with the same kind of coverage that you would expect from a traditional homeowners insurance policy.
- Outbuildings: Farm insurance can cover the structure and contents of the other structures on your farm property, such as 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.
Be aware that some farm property, such as electric fences, may require you to purchase special endorsements in order for it to be covered. Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help making sure that all of your valuable farm property is suitably covered.
Farm liability coverage
Liability insurance can shield your farming business and personal interests from losses related to liability lawsuits by covering court costs, legal fees, and financial damages.
There are many types of liability coverage available. Your insurance agent may recommend policies such as:
- Personal liability insurance: This is the same as the liability insurance provided by traditional homeowners insurance policies. It is designed to provide coverage if you or someone in your household is unintentionally responsible for injuries, property damage, or financial loss to others.
- Premises liability insurance: This can cover your farm against third-party injuries sustained in accidents on your property for which your farming business can be deemed responsible. This is of particular importance if your farm is open to the public for events or direct sales.
- Product liability insurance: This can cover your farm against third-party illnesses or injuries caused products produced on or sold by your farm.
- Commercial vehicle liability insurance: This can cover your farm’s financial obligations if you or one of your employees causes an accident with someone else while driving a farm-owned vehicle and that person suffers injuries or property damage.
- Umbrella insurance: This is a good idea if you want to have even more liability insurance than your farm insurance can provide. Umbrella insurance is an affordable way to boost your liability coverage by millions of dollars.
- Worker's compensation insurance: Although this it not liability insurance per se, it can help your farm avoid potential liability lawsuits by covering 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 are a good fit for your Peoria farm. These agents can also ensure that you are getting your coverage at a competitive price.
What Additional Coverage Can Peoria Farmers Include in Their Farm Insurance Policy Package?
Some property requires specialized coverage. Fortunately, you can choose to purchase endorsements or supplemental policies in order to be fully covered. Some of the coverage an independent insurance agent may recommend includes:
- Special property endorsements: You can purchase endorsements to cover specialized farm property that is not typically included in farm property coverage, such as fencing, feed for your livestock, and irrigation systems.
- Crop insurance: This is a separate policy that you may want to purchase as part of your farm insurance policy package. It 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.
- Livestock insurance: Livestock like cattle and pigs need special endorsements if you wish to cover them under your farm insurance policy. This endorsement can provide coverage if your livestock is impacted by fire, severe weather, predatory animals, loading and unloading accidents, or electrocution.
- Inland marine insurance: This can cover your goods during the times they are being transported or are away from your farm, such as at a farmers market or county fair.
- Debris removal insurance: Some disasters like fires and severe storms can leave your farm littered with debris. This coverage can pay for the cost of timely cleanup so that your agribusiness can quickly return to normal operations.
- Flood insurance: This is a separate policy that you may want to consider adding to your farm insurance policy package, since damage caused by floods is specifically excluded from your farm property coverage. This federally backed coverage 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.
Talk to an insurance agent near you to learn about these and any other available policies, endorsements, or options that may be a good fit for your Peoria farm.
What Should Peoria Farmers Know about Crop Insurance?
Crop insurance policies 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 droughts, floods, severe weather events, insect infestations, and plant 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 or tornado damage.
- Crop revenue insurance: This covers your farm against lower-than-expected revenue due to an unusually low crop yield or an extreme drop in the market price of the commodities your farm produces.
Each type of crop insurance coverage has specific rules about when in the growing season a policy must be purchased by. A local independent agent can give you more information about supplementing your farm insurance with a crop insurance policy.
How Can You Find Farm Insurance in Peoria, IL?
Although shopping online may seem easy and convenient at first blush, it is not necessarily the best way to get coverage for your Peoria area farm. Not only can it be difficult to get clear answers to your insurance-related questions, but you may also end up with a policy that leaves you exposed to unintended coverage gaps.
That is why it pays to work with an independent agent. These local insurance professionals are available to offer personalized service and trustworthy advice. Best of all, because they are not tied to a specific insurance company, independent agents are free to shop around to find you the coverage you need at the best available price.
Set up a one-on-one consultation with an insurance agent near you to learn more and to start comparing customized farm insurance quotes.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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