6 Things You Need to Know About Farm Insurance

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Whether farming is your occupation or just a hobby, you will probably agree that there's nothing more peaceful than working your own land. At jan jesberger insurance, we have been insuring farms of all sizes in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon since 2002. Whether you are thinking about selling produce from your garden on your street, 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. Toni our farm specialist, wanted to share 7 things that you might not already know about farm insurance policies.

Your Standard Homeowners Policy Covers Some Farming Activities

Many of us in the Northwest, 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 homeowners 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 Toni 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 homeowners policy. If you begin selling farmed goods at a local farmers market, for example, you’ll want to consider a hobby farm policy, like Grange Insurance Association’s Country Estates Program.

There are a few guidelines that must be followed for a farm to be considered a hobby farm. Some of these guidelines include:

  • Coverage is limited to a single farm location
  • There must be no employees
  • Less than 500 acres
  • Total annual farm receipts are limited to a maximum of $10,000
  • Minimum coverage of $125,000 on the main dwelling (mobile homes are not eligible)

Make sure to contact jan jesberger insurance for even more details about our Country Estates Program and its requirements.

If your hobby farm does not fall into this category, please give us a call or text to 208-762-2122

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. Toni 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. At jan jesberger insurance we listen , to you and your needs to ensure the correct coverage at the best price.

Some Coverage has Limitations on Commercial Structures

Homeowner policies generally limit coverage on commercial structures, while hobby farming policies, like Grange’s 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 homeowners policy. The same concept applies to all the owner’s activities.

You Need Special Coverage for Livestock

Livestock insurance is similar to 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.

  • Individual Coverage (Scheduled): Scheduling animals individually may be the right option if you have higher-valued animals that you want to cover up to a specific dollar amount. if you have horses, you should check out our blogs on equine mortality insurance, or What I need to know abnout horse insurance

  • Blanket Coverage (Unscheduled): With a blanket policy, all of your farm property (livestock, equipment, structures, etc.) is insured in one lump sum amount. When using blanket insurance, make sure to insure to adequate values, as being under-insured could result in a lower claim payment than you need or expect.

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 us about which option will work best for your operation.

The team at jan jesberger insurance, stands ready to have a conversation about the proper protection for your most important asset, your family, your farm, and your financial wellness. Adequate insurance in today’s world is an important piece of any farm plan.Recently, I heard a story of a small, hobby farm that was selling organic produce in the summer. Somehow, ecoli got into the produce, several became ill and the settlement ended in the high 6 figures.

Don’t you owe it to yourself to start a conversation today with us? Contact us at 208-762-2122 or reach out at jan@janjinsurance.com. You will be glad you did!