May 23, 2024

Why You Need Separate Coverage for Farm Machinery on the Road

Driving a tractor (or any other mobile farm machinery) on a public road or highway presents different risks than simply cruising through a field. On a public road, there are other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. There may also be other dangers like debris on the road or low clearance bridges. With preparation and care, using a public road to cross between parts of your farm or delivering machinery to a repair shop is easy.

Property and Liability Insurance for Driving Mobile Farm Machinery on the Road

Auto insurance is regulated provincially across Canada; however, mobile farm machinery like tractors, combines, and sprayers are typically protected under a farm insurance policy. This means you do not necessarily need to purchase a license plate, have a driver’s license, or an auto insurance policy to drive farm machinery on the road. Provinces also dictate additional rules for mobile farm machinery like driving speed, approved driving hours, and vehicle lights which vary provincially. Governments may use different terminology to identify mobile farm machinery like self-propelled implement of husbandry or self-propelled agricultural vehicles.

So, does the farm property and farm liability you purchase under your farm insurance policy protect you in the event of a collision on the road? As always, it is important to read your entire farm insurance policy to understand what is covered and what is not covered.

Generally, you and your property are protected by your farm insurance policy when driving mobile farm machinery on the road, whereas another motorist would be protected by their auto insurance policy, or a cyclist or pedestrian by their home insurance policy.

Visit the government website for your province to confirm exact rules and regulations and speak with your broker.

Claim Example

A farmer drove their combine at dusk on a public road between fields. The combine was travelling at the required speed with hazards flashing. While slowing and signaling for a left turn, a third-party semi truck and trailer tried to pass on the left and struck the combine. There was minimal damage to the combine and no injuries; however, the third-party’s trailer sustained significant damage and was subsequently written off.

Property Coverage

$7,500 repairs to combine

$2,500 subtract deductible

Liability Coverage

The third-party’s claim was paid by their own insurer, who in turn, sent a demand to the farmer to recover the cost of the trailer, towing, and disposal fees. This type of liability claim is covered under the farmer’s Comprehensive Farm Liability. The farmer’s insurance company investigates the loss and defends them in court; however, the farmer is found to be 50% responsible for the damage.

$3,500 adjusting/investigation fees

$5,000 legal fees

$25,000 subrogation claim from third party

$38,500 total settlement for the claim

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