Start Your Farm Renewal Discussion with These 3 Things
Insurance renewal time? Great! This is an opportunity to meet with your insurance broker and go over the coverage needs for your operation. The broker may come to visit you on the farm or you might pop into their office for the review. Either way, to make the process smooth, we have three things that will help you start the discussion with your broker for your annual farm insurance renewal.
1. Changes to Your Operations
Maybe last year, you learned a new technique or took the initiative to try something different on the farm. Any changes to the operations on a farm can affect how insurance coverage takes effect. It might mean that you are underinsured or even, overinsured!
What is a change in operations? Here are a few examples:
- Choosing to create a corn maze in one of your fields and charging for entry rather than just harvesting all of the corn
- Discontinuing poultry production to focus on selling eggs
- Producing pies, jams, and jellies from the fruit or berries on your farm where in the past, it was sold whole
- Offering cattle breeding services to other ranches and dairies
- Starting a “U-Pick” option for guests at your apple orchard where before apples were only available by the bag
2. New Equipment on the Farm
If you went to the local ag fair and eyed up the latest combine, tractor, or rotary tiller (it’s alright, we did too), then later decided to purchase it for your farm, you will need new insurance to cover it.
Any kind of equipment whether it is mobile, stationary, or electronic may affect your coverage. Your insurance broker can help you decide the amount of coverage you will need to replace the machine. It is also a great time to review if you have Farm Equipment Breakdown coverage, a helpful enhancement that can protect you in the event of a mechanical, electrical, or boiler breakdown.
3. Renovations to Your Home or Farm Buildings
There are a lot of buildings on a farm. Sheds, lean-tos, houses, barns, mobile homes, workshops, manufacturing warehouses, garages, and more. Some, if not all of these buildings may be listed on your farm insurance policy and it is necessary to review them to ensure your coverage can replace it in case you experience a loss. Renovations such as new lighting in your barn or an addition to your house will affect your insurance coverage. Improvements may even decrease your premium, for example a brand new roof is less likely to be damaged by wind than a thirty year old roof.
Changes to Livestock
If you have adopted a guardian animal or added 100 heads of cattle to your herd, now is a good time to talk to your insurance broker. There are several coverages which might benefit your livestock including heat prostration, animal in transit, and veterinarian supplies. Reviewing those needs each year ensures you choose the right amount of coverage for your needs in the event of a loss of your animals.
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