Archive for Farm Risks
Aquaculture & Hydroponic Farming
Aquaculture operations or marine farming is similar to other farming operations. However, it has unique and unusual exposures. Flood and windstorm coverage is available through various insurance pools, while private insurers provide other property and liability coverage. Unique exposures include disease and contamination of fish, shellfish, and shrimp crops during cultivation.
Custom Harvesting Operations
Coverage is available to insureds that perform, under a written contract or agreement, farming or harvesting operations for others for a fee.. Because unendorsed farmer’s personal liability insurance or farmowners policies provide only incidental coverage for this exposure, additional coverage must be purchased when the insured’s receipts exceed the typical allowed amount of $5,000.
Farm Feed, Fertilizer, Seed and Supplies
Dealers that handle feed, fertilizer, seed and farm supplies make up a specialized class of retail or wholesale businesses that serve the agribusiness and farm market. Some dealers that sell fertilizer also contract with farmers for its application, which can significantly add to the exposure. Seed and grain silos are subject to explosions. Feed and seed mixing can present significant product liability exposures. Theft of liquid and solid fertilizer is a significant property exposure.
Farm Implement Dealers
Farm implement dealers are similar to automobile and recreational vehicles dealers but with some important differences. The equipment they handle is often larger, more expensive, and may be deadly if not properly safeguarded. This equipment is built to last many years and is often serviced by the farmer with the dealer providing service on difficult repairs. These dealers may also sell used equipment.
Farm Labor Contractors
These contractors recruit and employ farm workers to harvest crops for others. They are responsible for all labor-related human resource issues, including compliance with the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection (MSAWP) Act. The contractors provide transportation to and from the fields and often provide housing, clothing, protective gear, food, and other services to the workers.
Farms and Ranch Properties
Farms and ranches have always been considered a specialty line of insurance. Some major carriers have separate divisions to underwrite farm and/or agribusiness risks. Dwellings, farm buildings, equipment, and livestock at one location can expose significant values to a single loss. Most farm properties are unprotected and do not have water or paid fire department service. Policies written on farms and agribusinesses often combine both personal and commercial property and liability exposures. Larger farms and corporate farms are usually underwritten differently than family farms because they have different types of exposures.
Insurance companies that specialize in writing agribusiness risks insure grain elevators, feed processing plants, flour mills, and similar or related plants and equipment. Both property and liability coverages are available. Explosion is the most significant exposure for both coverages. Large terminal elevators present values that require significant limits. Port elevator risks, while equally large, are less desirable.
Hail Insurance on Growing Crops
This coverage indemnifies owners of growing crops or tenant farmers who have an interest in such crops for loss or damage caused by hail. It is subject to a written application and payment of premium before coverage takes effect. Coverage usually applies from late spring or early summer to when the crop is harvested or until the expiration date.
Horse (Livestock) Major Medical and Surgery Insurance
This coverage is usually written as an endorsement to a livestock mortality policy. It covers veterinarian fees for surgery and major illnesses/diseases as defined for scheduled animals. Limits are usually on an aggregate per insured animal basis, subject to a deductible. Animals used for racing, those less than 30 days old, and those over 15 years of age may be excluded. A licensed veterinarian must perform the surgery and provide the medical treatment.
These coverages are for owners of stables or farms who board horses for others. The horses may be available for only their owners to ride or may be rented to others to ride. Some stables provide stud and breeding services. Coverage provided for these operations includes care, custody, and control coverage on the breeder’s behalf and other coverages to protect its liability with respect to the horses being bred.
Farms that specialize in raising show or race horses have significant livestock and liability exposures. In addition, horse farms that provide boarding and breeding activities or the ones that offer training and instruction have unique liability and property exposures. Property coverage applies to barns, stables, tack, other equipment, and farm machinery. Commercial general liability insurance covers various exposures connected with horses.
Insurance programs for horticultural risks target florists, garden centers, nurseries, landscapers, fruit and vegetable farms, greenhouses, farmers markets, and pick-your-own operations. In addition to property and general liability coverages, other optional coverages available include florists or horticulture errors or omissions; payment of damages for the insured’s negligent acts, errors, or omissions; pollution liability for pesticides and fertilizers; and pollution cleanup. Other optional coverages include increased business personal property seasonal limits, accounts receivable, and different money limits before and after holidays. Errors and omissions coverage is usually subject to a deductible.
Multiple Peril Crop Insurance
Multiple peril crop insurance provides “”all risk”” type crop insurance against unavoidable losses due to the uncertainty of nature. A division of the federal agricultural department administers the program but is available through private insurers and licensed agents and brokers. It covers specified crops such as corn, soy beans, wheat, barley, and tobacco. Coverage applies to loss to crops caused by wildlife, insect infestation, plant disease, earthquake, drought, flood, hail, wind, frost, freeze, lightning, fire, excessive rain, snow, hurricanes, tornadoes, and any other unavoidable cause of loss due to adverse weather conditions.
This coverage protects poultry farmers, feed mills, and financial institutions for their investment in large flocks of poultry raised as broilers, breeders, or egg layers. Coverage is usually written on an “all risks” basis using coverage forms and policies designed for the poultry industry. Coverage usually includes death caused by climatic conditions, such as temperature and humidity, on the grower’s premises or in transit. Some policies also include contamination coverage.