What To Look For In A Farm and Ranch Policy
Depending on what you plan to do with your property, you’ll need different types of insurance. Farmers and ranchers often purchase home insurance along with farm and ranch insurance. But homeowners insurance may not cover items that are specific to a farm or ranch, such as cattle or horses. (Take a look at our post here for more details on how homeowners and farm/ranch policies differ.) This type of policy will help protect assets associated with your farming/ranching operation, such as feed, seed or livestock.
What Kinds Of Coverage Are Available?
Check with your local insurance agent to determine which type of policy, and how much coverage is appropriate for you. You may also want to look into additional insurance options such as equipment, horse trailer, tools, tractors, tack and hay coverage. There are policies available that specialize in farm market operations as well – including farmers markets and fairs – so be sure to ask about those.
What About Collectables?
Whether you collect art or coins, have a rare collection of barbed wire, or love dolls, there are coverages to protect these personal items in a farm policy. Different policies cover collectables in different ways. It's important to talk to an insurance agent who can offer carriers that have this in their farm and ranch policies.
How Are Buildings And Items Covered In An Insurance Policy?
Many farm and ranch insurance policies come with replacement cost coverage, which means that, in a claim situation, your business will be reimbursed for the total value of an item or property at current prices up to the amount chosen on your policy. This is vital if you rely on expensive equipment to do your job—equipment such as tractors and harvesters can easily cost six figures or more. Other items may be covered at Actual Cash Value (ACV). This allows you to choose an exact amount you feel the property is worth. If that property is damaged, you will receive the agreed upon amount.
How Are Claims Handled?
Claims are handled directly by a claims adjuster. This means you don’t have to worry about paying any out-of-pocket expenses, but it also puts all of your claims in the insurance company's hands and gives them a significant amount of control over how they are handled and what you can claim on. It is important to pick the right agent the first time to avoid costly mistakes made when proper coverage is not chosen. You'll appreciate an agent who comes to your property and does their due diligence to make sure you are covered properly in the beginning. Skipping corners in an effort to get a low price will only come back to bite you in the end.
How Do I Research To Find The Right Company?
The right insurance company is out there, somewhere. So how do you go about researching insurance companies? It all comes down to questions: who are they? What do they do? How long have they been in business? Can I find them easily online (and if so, how easy)? How much can I trust them with my policy and my money? Find a licensed insurance agecy that knows all of the carriers on the market today that can easily guide you to the right company for you. Make sure your insurance agent is well versed in farm and ranch insurance. A true agent will understand your business and what it takes to cover it. A good hint: look for jeans and boots, not a suit!