Everything you need to know about insurance basics, like coverage types, limits, cost and more.
Farm Liability Insurance Coverage
As a farmer and business owner, you know the importance of having that layer of insurance protection. Have you checked out all the different types of liability insurance for your farm or ranch? Farm liability coverage is designed to protect the people who come to visit your farm or the property of others if it is damaged due to your farm operations. Let’s review the different types and look at how they can help safeguard your lifestyle.
Personal Liability Coverage On and Off the Farm
When you’re legally responsible for accidental injuries, medical expenses or property damage, you’ll want to have this type of coverage on your side. One key thing to remember is that these are incidents where you’re legally responsible, even though it may be a complete accident with no intent whatsoever. This is exactly the coverage you need for those situations where accidents happen. Let’s explore some examples of when personal liability coverage would come into play?
Bodily injury liability for farm accidents. If one of your visitors gets kicked by a spooked animal, this coverage will help pay their medical bills if they’re hurt or injured.
Medical payments to others. In this situation, the payments come regardless of liability. This portion of your insurance policy may kick in any time that there’s an injury on your farm or ranch that requires medical treatment.
Negligent acts of your children. Imagine your child was supposed to latch the gate for your goats, but forgot when they saw their friends’ car pull in the driveway. As your child raced to the car, a goat followed. Inspired by his new-found freedom, the goat jumped on the hood of the car and scratched it. It will be much easier to laugh over this situation, knowing your insurance will help pay for the damages.
Acts of your pets. This time your beloved dog, gets a little too excited to see his favorite visitor. The problem is, your pup jumps up and your guest topples over, breaking his finger. The good news is your insurance will help pay his medical expenses and possibly cover the damages for anything he dropped in the fall.
Acts of your livestock. Your old milk cow is typically very gentle, but she gets spooked and steps on a guest’s foot. This is an injury that was caused by your livestock, and clearly not anyone’s fault, but you’re still legally responsible so your insurance will help cover the expenses.
Farmers markets and roadside stands. You make the most delicious jam from berries you grow, but somehow you get a batch of berries with bacteria that causes Jill to get sick. Your insurance would step in here and help cover Jill’s medical bills.
Agritainment and agritourism. If you’re interested in banking in on seasonal trends with a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hay rides, sleigh rides and more, this is the coverage you’ll want.
Fire legal liability. This coverage helps if your equipment causes a fire that damages another’s property. An example would be if your tractor is being stored in someone else’s garage and catches fire damaging the garage.
Products/completed operations hazard coverage. This coverage is designed to protect the insured from claims for injury or damage caused by faulty products. One situation where this type of insurance would help is if a farmer sells a cherry pie to a customer who later breaks their tooth on a cherry pit. The insurance would help reimburse the customer for their dental bills.
Optional Liability Coverages for Your Farm
Your farm is unique — you offer products, services or experiences that other farms and ranches don’t. This means that you have some special concerns and additional liability coverage gives you customized protection designed specifically for your operation.
Custom farm work. This applies to people who are in the business of planting or harvesting for someone else. For example, if your neighbor hires you to harvest their crops.
Employers liability. Your employees are important to you. They keep your business running like a well-oiled machine and you couldn’t do it without them. Adding this coverage gives them protection for their safety.
Pollution — sudden and accidental limited coverage. If you’re driving a tractor that is pulling a tank with insecticide and the tank comes off and spills into a stream, this coverage will help pay for clean-up of the stream.
Unmanned aircraft system limited coverage. Are you using or thinking about using a drone to help manage your crops and livestock? If so, this is the coverage you’ll want to add for liability and physical damage to the drone.
Care, custody, and control liability. If part of your farming or ranching business is raising livestock for someone else, you’ll want this protection just in case you’re liable for any accidents that could occur.
Incidental business pursuits. If you decided to start a small, separate business on your property, then you would want this coverage. Many independent businesses are included in this coverage, such as: beauty or barber shops, a bait shop, direct sales, dog breeding, firewood sales, horse training, pet grooming, and more.
Farm chemicals limited liability. Imagine you’re spraying your crops and the pesticide dust or droplets move through the air at the time of application, or soon after, to your neighbor’s prize winning rose garden. Luckily, you have this coverage to help her recover.
Fruit or vegetable picking by the public. Pick-your-own is a huge trend with today’s consumers as they embrace farm-to-table dining at home. This liability coverage lets you give them what they want while protecting you in the process.
Horse boarding. People who care for other people’s horses may want to check with their American Family Insurance agent to see if this coverage is a smart choice for their professional situation.
Your farm is more than a business, it’s also your home, your security and your way of life. No one else can truly understand what it means to you and how much you put into it. Which is why protecting it is a priority. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent for a check-up of your farm liability insurance and other farm and ranch insurance options.