As a top supplier of commodities such as broilers, turkeys, cotton, corn, cattle, soybeans, and wheat, South Carolina’s economy is largely dependent on area farms and ranches. In fact, farms in South Carolina contribute as much as $42 billion to the economy every year. As a farmer in this state, it is very important that you protect your business with a suitable farm insurance policy package.
When you are shopping for the right coverage for your farm or ranch, a local independent insurance agent can help. These agents can help you identify your farm’s various exposures and can help you find affordable coverage to protect your business against each of them. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
What Is SC Farm Insurance?
Farm insurance is a specific type of business insurance that is designed to meet the unique needs of farm and ranch owners in South Carolina. It combines coverage for your home with coverage for your farming business in an easy-to-manage, fully customizable policy package.
Farm insurance policies come with a number of coverage options. A local independent insurance agent can help you navigate through your many choices. That way, you can be sure that the policy you are purchasing covers you against all of the hazards you are likely to face as a farmer in South Carolina.
Why Is Farm Insurance So Important in South Carolina?
There are more than 24,000 farms covering almost 5 million acres of land in South Carolina alone. In fact, agribusiness makes up the largest economic sector in this state. If area farms fail due to severe weather, liability lawsuits, or other risks, this can not only be devastating to the farmers who own the land, but it can also have a major impact on the state’s economy.
A well-built farm insurance policy package covers farmers against the hazards they are most likely to face in South Carolina. These can include hurricanes, floods, hail, fires, tornadoes, liability lawsuits, insect infestations, and equipment malfunctions.
What Kinds of Property Coverage Does South Carolina Farm Insurance Offer?
Most farmers live on their farm property. This means that they need coverage not only for their personal belongings, but also for their business assets. Fortunately, when you purchase a farm insurance policy, you can get both.
Some of the property you can expect your farm insurance policy to 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 barns, bunkhouses, stables, silos, 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, if they are damaged by a covered event like hail or a tornado.
Learn more about your farm property insurance coverage by talking to a local independent insurance agent.
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When Is Supplemental Coverage Needed for Your South Carolina Farm Property?
It is important to note that some farm property and risks are not automatically covered by standard farm property insurance. In this case, specialized property insurance or supplemental policies may be necessary in order for you to be fully covered.
- Fencing: From barbed wire to electrical fencing, fences are rarely covered by your farm insurance property insurance. If you have a lot of expensive fencing on your property, you may want to consider spending a little extra to purchase an endorsement to cover it.
- Livestock feed: If a disaster results in the loss of a large supply of livestock feed, the costs to you can be high. Unfortunately, feed is often excluded from standard farm insurance property coverage. Fortunately, you can purchase an endorsement to get the coverage you need.
- Irrigation systems: Irrigation systems are sometimes excluded from farm insurance property coverage. In this case, you may need to purchase an irrigation equipment insurance endorsement if you want these systems to be covered.
- Fire (sometimes): It is possible that fires may be excluded from your farm insurance coverage if you don't have paved or solid gravel roads leading to your property or if there is no easy access to water with which to fight the fire. Be sure to discuss this risk with your insurance agent to determine what you can do to ensure that you are properly covered against fire damage.
- Floods: Like most insurance policies, farm insurance typically excludes coverage for flood damage. Unfortunately, this is a very real risk in South Carolina, particularly during hurricane season. To get the protection you need, talk to your local insurance agent about adding flood insurance to your farm insurance policy package.
- Earthquakes: Most people don’t think of South Carolina when they think about earthquakes. However, despite being rare in this state, this is a very real risk in many parts of South Carolina, particularly in Charleston and the area surrounding it. If you want to be sure that your home and farm buildings are covered against earthquake damage, you will need a supplemental earthquake insurance policy.
Talk to your local insurance agents to learn more about potential exclusions and to find out what you can do to be sure you are covered.
What Kinds of Liability Coverage Does South Carolina Farm Insurance Offer?
As with businesses, farms and ranches have several liability risks. That is why farm insurance includes liability coverage as a standard part of every policy. Liability insurance is designed to pay for court costs, legal fees, and damages if you are sued for a covered event. The following are some examples of available farm liability coverage:
- 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, and other damage if a product that your farm or ranch produces or sells is defective or contaminated in some way.
- Personal liability insurance: This can cover your personal liability risks if you are responsible for injuries or property damage to others, even when you are not on your farm property. It can also cover you against accusations of libel or slander.
There are other liability insurance products available that may be appropriate for your South Carolina farm. Talk to a local insurance agent for help reviewing your coverage options.
What Else Can South Carolina Farm Insurance Offer?
Depending on the specifics of your particular farm, you may also want to choose from the following farm insurance coverage options:
- Equipment breakdown insurance: This coverage can pay to quickly repair or replace malfunctioning or broken-down farm equipment so you can keep your business running smoothly. Typically, only well-maintained equipment will be covered.
- Farm income insurance: This coverage is designed to make up the difference between expected and actual profits if your farm’s operations are hindered by a disaster such as a hurricane or flood.
- Debris clean-up and removal insurance: This coverage can pay for cost of a timely clean-up of debris if a covered hazard like a hurricane or tornado causes extensive damage on your farm. That way, you can get back to normal operations as quickly as possible.
- Poultry and livestock insurance: This can cover the animals you raise on your farm against hazards such as severe weather events, attacks by predatory animals, and life-threatening injuries sustained while being transported.
- Crop insurance: This supplemental coverage is designed to cover losses if your crops are damaged by hazards such as windstorms, hail, insect infestations, plant diseases, or other risks. It can also help to make up the difference in revenues if there is a large, unexpected drop in commodity market values.
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Why Work with a Local Independent Insurance Agent?
When you work with an independent agent who lives and works in the state of South Carolina, you can be sure that you are getting advice and guidance from an insurance professional who is familiar with the risks you face as a farm or ranch owner in in this southern state.
Independent insurance agents can shop around to help you find suitable farm insurance coverage at a competitive price. Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.