Farm insurance covers everything from small farms that you only work a few hours per week to large farms with many employees that serve as your family’s livelihood. You can get coverage for your home, farm buildings, and equipment.
What is Farm Insurance?
Farm insurance is a special set of insurance coverages designed to protect farmers. It includes a package of damage, liability, and other coverages designed to meet your needs.
What Does Farm Insurance Cover?
Farm insurance includes several different categories of coverage.
If you live on your farm, farm insurance can protect your home against storms, fires, and other covered losses. This portion of your farm insurance works similarly to a homeowners’ insurance policy. It just gets bundled in with your farm policy instead of having separate policies.
If you include your home in your farm insurance policy, you can also get liability coverage similar to a homeowners’ policy. That typically covers things like dog bites, someone tripping on a crack in your sidewalk, or your kids sending a baseball through a neighbor’s window.
Homeowners’ insurance sometimes covers small sheds and detached garages, sometimes at additional cost, but it won’t usually cover larger structures like barns. Of course, barns and other farm buildings are also at risk of burning down or getting damaged in a storm. Farm insurance allows you to add coverage for these additional buildings.
Farm Personal Property
Farm personal property includes the tools and equipment you use in farm operations as well as your livestock. It can cover things like theft, fire, and storm damage.
If you injure someone during farming operations, it generally wouldn’t be covered under the personal liability portion of your farm or homeowners’ insurance policy. This is a separate coverage that’s part of your farm insurance.
Trucks and tractors you use in farm operations may not be covered under your other liability or property coverages. The law typically only requires liability insurance for vehicles you drive on the road, but if you want to be protected against both liability and damage even on your farm, you may need to add commercial auto coverage.
When Do You Need Farm Insurance?
There are three general categories to think about when thinking about whether you need farm insurance. This helps you answer the question of whether you need the coverages discussed above and if you already have it.
Small Garden or a Few Animals
If you only have a small vegetable garden or a few animals, you might not need separate farm insurance, and a standard homeowners’ insurance policy could be enough. Having some extra tools in a small garage or shed might be within what your homeowners’ insurance policy covers. Or, you may decide that your farming activities are so small that you can easily self-insure against potential losses.
A hobby farm is a farm that’s definitely too big for a standard homeowners’ insurance policy but isn’t a full-time job. You might raise food or livestock for your family, or you may make a small number of sales in local markets. To qualify as a hobby farm, you must have a single location, have no employees, and be under the income and size limits set by the insurance company.
The benefit of being a hobby farm is generally less expensive and less complicated coverage. Since you don’t have employees and aren’t doing this as your full-time job, you have lower insurance risks than a commercial farm.
Farm Owner’s Policy
A farm owner’s policy covers farms with a commercial purpose whether that’s a family-only operation or a farm that hires employees. This type of policy will be tailored to address the additional risks and insurance needs that involves.
Do Different Types of Farms Need Different Insurance?
Yes, whether you grow crops, have milk cows, raise chickens, or have riding horses, all make a difference in what insurance you need. Each activity has its own set of risks, and the value of the farm property you use will vary. When you buy an insurance policy, the underwriter will review all of your farming activities and may make a site visit depending on the size of your farm. Even though the coverages you buy will mainly fall under the standard options described above, the quote you receive will be specific to what type of farm you have.
Are High-Value Livestock Covered?
Your general property coverage covers livestock, but it may have limits per animal or use standard values for each type of animal. If you have prized breeding stock, racehorses, or other valuable livestock, they may be worth far more than the standard limit. You can also take out coverage on individual livestock if you want to be insured for their full value.
Are Crops Covered?
You generally need separate crop insurance to cover the crops themselves. Many farm insurance providers do offer this coverage. You can choose what perils you want to insure against, such as weather or insects, and your premium will be based on that plus the size of your crops.
Get a Quote
Feldbruegge Insurance works with many farm insurance companies to find you the coverage you need at the right price. We’ll work with you to help you understand the risks your farm faces and what you can do to protect yourself. If you’re near Abbotsford, WI, contact us to learn more or to request a quote.