April 2, 2019

Insuring Your Farm: Why the Site Diagram is So Important

An aerial view of a farmyard with three silos, a large barn, storage shed, house, and several trucks and tractors

Have you memorized the layout of your farm? It’s your home and place of business, you could probably rattle off the north, south, east, and west landmarks without missing a beat. But, when it comes to farm insurance, your broker and your insurance company do not know your farm as intimately as you do. In order to accurately assess the risk and understand how elements on your property relate to each other, the farm site diagram is necessary for a farm insurance policy application.

Some elements you may need to include on a farm site diagram are:

  • Houses – rented, occupied by a farmhand, family, or farm homeowner
  • Mobile homes – rented, occupied by a farmhand, family, or farm homeowner
  • Barns – storage, livestock
  • Garages
  • Shops
  • Sheds
  • Silos
  • Storage bins
  • Fuel Tanks

You may be asked to draw the layout, or your broker may draw it during a visit to the farm. No matter who draws the diagram, well-labeled structures and distances between each are essential.

There might be some aspects of your farm you choose not to insure after discussing with your broker, rather than crossing out that property, include a simple statement like “not required” or “uninsured”. While this building may not be insured, it may have an impact on how your farm is assessed.

Following is a sample that shows a simple farm site diagram:

A sample farm site diagram with boxes and circles for structures and lines to show distance between

This sample imagines a dairy farm and elements that may come into play. There is a standard barn complex with a manure pit and milk parlour. Fuel tanks are located a generous distance from the barn but close enough to be easy to access. Additionally, there is an uninsured tenant’s shop and bunker silo noted.

With the farm site diagram an underwriter can assess risks that may come into play for example a fire and the likelihood of it spreading to other buildings. A map like this is an excellent supporting document for a farm insurance application.

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