What is Farm Insurance?
Whether farming is your occupation or just a hobby, you will probably agree that there's nothing more peaceful than working your own land. Whether you are thinking about selling produce from your garden at the local farmers market or making your farm your full-time job, it is important to make sure that you understand the ins and outs of farm insurance coverage. Insurance experts share 7 things that you might not already know about farm insurance policies.
Your Standard Homeowners Policy Covers Some Farming Activities
Many treat their large garden or small farm as a hobby and have no intention of making money. If you fall into this category, it’s possible that your standard homeowner’s insurance policy will cover some of these farming activities. But keep in mind that homeowners’ insurance policies generally exclude things like farm equipment and farm outbuildings. Make sure to speak with your local insurance agent to find out precisely what coverage your homeowners policy provides.
If You’re Farming for a Profit, You May Need a Different Type of Policy
Hobby farming for a profit requires different coverage than your basic homeowner’s policy. If you begin selling farmed goods at a local farmers market, for example, you’ll want to consider a hobby farm policy.
If Farming is Your Full-Time Occupation, You Will Need a Farm Owner’s Policy
If you want to take your hobby even further and start farming as a full-time occupation, you’ll need farm owner’s insurance coverage. A basic farm owner’s policy generally includes property coverage, liability coverage, and more.
To better protect your livelihood, this basic coverage should be modified with endorsements based on your farm's unique needs. Your local insurance agent will be able to help you determine what types of endorsements will best fit your farm's needs.
Farm Insurance Coverage is Not Standard
A common misconception about farm insurance is that a policy is one big bundle of predetermined coverages. Farm insurance policies have so many different aspects that there is no standard policy. Each farming operation is unique, and a policy should be custom built for the needs of the farmer.
Some Coverage has Limitations on Commercial Structures
Homeowner policies generally limit coverage on commercial structures, while hobby farming policies, like our Country Estates Program, and farm owner's policies do not. For example, if a building is being used in a manner that exceeds the special limits set forth in the policy conditions (usually in the form of gross annual revenue generated), the building is then considered a commercial building and may not be covered under a homeowner’s policy. The same concept applies to all the owner’s activities.
You Need Special Coverage for Livestock
Livestock insurance is like crop insurance and is partially funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. Depending on the types of animals you have on your farm, you will likely require special coverage for livestock. A few options to consider include individual coverage, as well as blanket coverage.
Keep in mind that the maximum amount payable per head is dependent upon your choice of insurance (i.e., individual or blanket), so be sure to talk to your insurance agent about which option will work best for your operation.
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