Farm Liability Insurance: Do you have enough coverage?
By Whitney Wiegel, Ag Business Specialist
(BLUE SPRINGS, MO) Farm liability insurance protects farm owners from claims arising from injuries or damage to other people or property. This type of insurance coverage covers losses unintentionally caused by the farm operator and his employees to other people or their property. Many commercial farms have an umbrella insurance policy that provides liability coverage up to a certain threshold. For example, a farmer who has $1 million in liability coverage is protected from liability claims of not more than $1 million for the number of occurrences and coverage period identified in his insurance policy.
As farm businesses evolve and asset values change, coverage limits for liability insurance should be periodically reviewed by farmers and their insurance agents. An increase in total farm assets suggests a need for increased liability coverage to maintain consistent risk protection. Over the past few years market values for land and other farm assets have increased substantially, which has contributed to the growth of farm balance sheets. While many farmers’ asset values have increased, fewer farmers have taken the time to review their liability coverage to ensure that they are adequately protected. While a $500,000 or $1 million policy may have been adequate for many farms 10 years ago, changes in farm profitability and asset values have altered many farmers’ insurance needs. To reduce exposure to loss, farmers should regularly review their balance sheets and coverage limits and ask themselves, “Is my liability coverage limit anywhere near the total value of my farm? If an accident were to occur, would my current insurance policy protect me from exorbitant losses?” If a farmer’s answer to either of these questions is “no” or “I don’t know,” it is probably time for him to talk with his insurance agent.
For more information call or visit your local Extension Center or visit www.extension.missouri.edu.
To hear more click below to hear KMZU’s Mandy Young talk with Ag Business Specialist Whitney Wiegel.