As a ranch owner, you work hard to protect the assets on your property. But natural disasters, injuries and other perils can strike. Farm and ranch insurance protects against these risks. Typically, it is a highly customized policy. A knowledgeable agent is your best resource to understand what coverages are available.
The property coverage in a ranch insurance policy protects the buildings and structures on your property. It typically also covers things like fences and irrigation systems. This type of coverage is generally bundled with other policies (like home and auto) to save you money.
Because farms and ranches are unique personal and commercial property blends, insurance policies must be flexible to cover the varying needs. These policies often include a mixture of coverages, with some provisions similar to those found in a business owner’s policy (BOP) and others tailored specifically for farm and ranch operations.
Unlike homeowner’s policies, which only cover damage to dwellings, ranch and farm property coverage may include other structures like barns, greenhouses and equipment like tractors, grain harvesters, and mowers.
This coverage usually provides replacement cost rather than actual cash value, which can help you save on insurance costs. It may also include vehicles used for farm work, though that depends on the policy.
A ranch may have a home, outbuildings and equipment, but it also likely has several unique risks that do not fit the typical homeowners policy. Because of this, liability coverage for farms and ranches is available, and it expressly covers ranch-related hazards. Typically, this covers property damage caused by a covered peril like fire.
However, it can also include the costs of repairing fences or replacing damaged signs on a farm. It can even cover medical expenses for a person injured by your farm machinery or the death of livestock.
Many farm and ranch policies offer optional coverages for things like increased limits during peak season, replacement cost without depreciation on certain structures and extra coverage for farm products that are in storage. These are important options to consider. Speak to a knowledgeable agent to learn more about the coverages that are available to you.
Whether you have a small hobby farm or a large-scale operation, equipment breaks down and sometimes needs to be replaced. Your ranch insurance policy offers replacement coverage for the equipment on your property so you can get back to work quickly.
This type of policy can also include identity fraud expense coverage to help pay for costs incurred in restoring your financial reputation, earthquake coverage for farms with fault lines nearby and peak season coverage when your inventory is higher than usual during harvest time.
Other policy add-ons can include sewer and sump pump backup for your irrigation system, loss of income due to the damage of a building and even additional liability coverage for personal property that is in storage or being transported.
Many farms and ranches use tractors and other vehicles to transport crops and products, so a commercial auto policy is usually necessary. These policies typically provide separate liability limits for business use and supplement your general auto policy.
Your animals are an essential part of your ranching operation. Various livestock insurance options exist to help protect you if your cattle or other farm animals are injured or killed. Livestock coverage can be provided on either a blanket or scheduled basis.
Blanket policies cover all the livestock on your property for a predetermined value, while scheduling allows you to insure individual high-value animals. Livestock revenue protection (LRP) and gross margin insurance (LGM) protect against declines in market prices for beef, dairy, hog or sheep producers.
They offer a range of coverage levels and periods that correspond with general feeding, production and marketing practices. Your agent can explain the details of these coverages and how they fit into your overall risk management strategy.
Finally, a few other coverages are often available, including animal mortality coverage that reimburses you for deaths due to injury and illness. It can be a lifesaver when facing extreme weather events, like tornadoes, blizzards and wildfires that threaten your herds.