June 1, 2021

Insuring Your Fencing, Corrals, and Paddocks

In the farmyard and stretching over many acres, farmers will put down a lot of fencing, corrals, paddocks, gates, and enclosures. Fencing serves many purposes on the farm such as:

  • Controlling cattle on rangeland, hayfields, and pasture
  • Sectioning pasture for regenerative grazing
  • Corralling cattle, sheep, goats, and other livestock
  • Protecting crops from wildlife
  • Deterring others from trespassing

Fencing for livestock can be used both to keep animals in and keep animals out of select areas. And the type of fencing may change depending on the livestock you keep. For example, horse fencing should be easily visible to the animals, so they do not run into it and cattle fencing should be sturdy as animals could easily knock over light fences.

With so much fencing and different types, it becomes necessary to consider protection in the event of a loss. There is a significant investment needed to build and maintain fencing, corrals, and paddocks so many farmers choose to add coverage for it under their farm insurance policy.

Common Risks

If your farm is in a heavily populated area, you have a high risk of a vehicle impacting your fencing. Rural areas too experience this risk when next to roadways. Here, if the third party vehicle is known, you may be able to hold them responsible to pay for your fence repair either directly or via subrogation through your farm policy.

Another peril for fencing which farmers may be concerned about is wildfire. It can consume long stretches of fencing all at once and can be expensive to rebuild.

When fencing livestock, farmers may have some legal responsibility to keep animals contained too. If your animal were to escape its enclosure and cause damage to property or injury to a person, you may be at risk of being sued. The risk of being held liable for injury to a person, most commonly from animals being on the road, is high. Lawyer Mary MacGregor summarizes some British Columbia court decisions involving vehicles and livestock in her post about rancher liability. For more information about farm liability coverage, speak with your insurance broker.

Insurance Coverage for Fencing, Corrals, and Paddocks

Generally, coverage will protect your fencing, corrals, and paddocks from basic perils such as fire and lightning and may include damage from vehicle impact and vandalism. There could also be a small limit for fencing materials, in other words, insurance coverage could extend to protect fencing supplies you keep on hand if damaged by an insured peril.

The basis of settlement will be Actual Cash Value, meaning a calculation will be made based on the age of the fencing for the final insurance payout.

Claim Example

A large lightning storm blows through your region overnight. In the morning, you discover lightning struck more than once! Your newly installed paddock has been damaged in several places due to the lightning. The paddock is only six months old and will need extensive repairs before you can complete the next round of herd management checks. Incorporating the Actual Cash Value basis for settlement, the claim examiner calculates there was $15,000 of damage. Subtracting the $2,500 deductible, the farmer receives $12,500 to complete repairs to the corral.

With Mutual Fire Insurance, you can add our FarmPROTECT™ Enhancement Endorsement to your policy with Fencing, Corrals, and Paddocks coverage up to $50,000. Should you have extensive fencing on your farm, higher limits are available, simply call your insurance broker to learn more!

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