Operating a farm is dream come true for many Texans - but it doesn't come without its risks. Living as a farmer takes many hours and a significant financial commitment to undertake.
So why do you need Farm Insurance? Well, crop failure, natural disasters, and sick livestock all pose a threat to your livelihood. The key to success comes with identifying risks and planning for the worst-case scenario. Having a well drawn out risk management plan and sufficient insurance coverage is a very smart idea.
You can hire the right workers, use the best practices, and use the safest equipment possible, but accidents still happen. Do you have enough liability and property insurance if your barn roof collapses? Or what about disability insurance for workers who might get injured on the job - do you know what resources you have to get this coverage at a low cost? Insuring your crops is also essential if you're a crop farmer because a bad year could bankrupt you without the proper coverage.
When you carry the right farm insurance, you can focus on your business knowing these risks will be taken care of if necessary.
So What Is Texas Farm Insurance?
Texas has thousands of farms and ranches. Some are large agribusinesses and others are small farms that have been handed down through the family. Each type of farm can benefit from farm insurance, although the coverage limits and some of the risk protections may be different.
A good farm insurance policy will cover you in three main areas: Dwelling or home and contents coverage, farm/ranch property and operations coverage, and liability coverage.
Protect Your Home As Well As Your Personal Property
Most farm insurance polices will provide the following coverages:
- Dwelling or home protections: Covers your home in the event of major perils, such as hail, windstorms, lightening and fires.
- Covers accidents, such as a vehicle damaging your home, theft or vandalism.
- Covers personal belongings in the house
- Ranch liability protection: Protects you from losing your farm due to liability problems.
- Covers bodily injury to another person.
- Covers you for legal defense and payment of claims for which you are legally liable.
- Barn Insurance and Other Outbuilding Coverages
Farm polices can be designed to also insure outbuildings that are separate from your house. These include barns, garages, sheds and other structures that you store your equipment or livestock in. Usually, these are covered against the same perils as your home. For example, weather events, such as hail, windstorm, and lightning are covered and accidents, such as damage by a vehicle, vandalism, or theft are included.
How Do I Cover My Crops and Livestock?
Crops and livestock make up a significant part of your farm. In many cases, the production of crops and livestock is a farmer's foremost source of revenue. Most farm coverages provide protections for your livestock. You can choose blanket coverage up to a specified coverage amount, or, you can choose to make a schedule of the individual high-value livestock you want to cover in the event of a loss. You can also have a combination of specific and blanket coverage. Covered losses include death by accidents and other incidents, but do not cover disease and sickness.
To obtain coverage for animals that pass away due to disease or sickness, you will need to carry animal mortality insurance. This insurance is available as a schedule or blanket and primarily covers high-value horses and cattle.
Crop insurance covers you if you have a crop loss due to an unavoidable natural disaster, such as the spread of disease, or a weather event. You can also protect your crop prices from commodity market price volatility and protect specific crops with a crop insurance policy.
Farming can be unpredictable, as there are many factors that can harm your livelihood. Natural disasters, the elements, and the market can all pose risks, but the good news is that with the right insurance you can have peace of mind, and keep your operation running smoothly.
Covering Your Farm Equipment
In addition to your animals, most farm policies will cover your farm equipment, machinery, and supplies. This includes items like irrigation systems, combines, and feed.
Just like with your animals, you can cover all of your equipment under a blanket policy at a specific dollar limit or list the separate high-cost items you want to cover on a scheduled policy.
You can also use both types of coverage, which can be especially effective if you have a large operation with lots of equipment that needs protection from loss. One of our independent agent's can explain your options and help you look at different policies to build an insurance plan that works for your farm or ranch.
Do I Need Business Owners Coverage for My Ranch or Farm?
If your farm is also your business, it's a good idea to get protection from business loss. Here are some of the important coverages you may wish to consider:
- Loss of Income: This covers you in the event of a covered business interruption; replaces lost income and provides operating expenses.
- Workers Compensation: This protects your employees if they get sick, injured, or die as a result of a job-related situation.
- Commercial Vehicle: Covers your over-the-road vehicles used for business purposes, such as vans, trucks, and specialized trucks, etc.; usually necessary for the vehicles that should be licensed.
- Errors and Omissions: This covers you if you make unintentional errors that cause financial loss to others; restricted to specific duties you perform in your business.
Start Protecting Your Farm Today
As you can see, the proper farm or ranch insurance coverage is a complex mix of risk protections. As your business grows or takes on new livestock or crops, it can become an even more complex challenge to cover.
That's why it is a good idea to work with a Dallas Insurance Agent who is independent and knowledgeable.