The 2013 Indiana Horticultural Congress attracted farmers and growers from local and surrounding regions from January 22 – 24 at The Wyndham Indianapolis West. The event was tailored to those who cultivate fruit, wine, vegetables and organics, among other unique crops.
Carrie Busic, the leader for the Central Region of Westfield’s AgriBusiness Division, delivered a special presentation at the event focused on farm insurance and industry risk management. Westfield Insurance has represented the farming industry for 165 years, so as Carrie says, “Our commitment to agriculture is strong!”
Carrie put emphasis on the importance of risk management. Comparatively, farming is a risky business.
Common Risks to Recognize
Because of the nature of the job, farmers should take additional preventative measures to best position their business for success.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lists five prevalent risks associated with farming:
- Production risk
- Price or market risk
- Institutional risk
- Human or personal risk
- Financial risk
There are many types of insurance coverages to consider for a farming or commercial agribusiness. Because each business is unique, it is important to consult with an independent insurance agent who has knowledge of the various coverages and needs for your business (farmowners, workers compensation, pollution, business interruption, etc.)
While there are many uncontrollable factors in this industry, there are some that can be controlled. Farmers must take safety precautions while on the job. Farming equipment and machinery can be dangerous if not handled properly and with care. Safety always must come first.
While running a business, farmers should strategically manage risk to advance their ongoing growth and earnings. That’s where insurance comes in.
The Insured Solution
To alleviate common problems and risk, Carrie presented several options to insure farmers and growers. Depending on individual situations and business structures, farmers can choose from the following options.
Farmowners coverage is relatively comprehensive. Carrie noted that farmowners insurance can “vary from insurer to insurer;” however, this package will offer property, liability and personal coverage.
Commercial Package Coverage
This product can either be used to supplement of replace Farmowners Coverage. Instead of being inclusive, farmers and growers choose the coverage that best meet their individual needs. In some cases that may be to add auto or umbrella coverage that isn’t included in the Farmowners Coverage You can also build a custom product from the ground up to include your farm property, liability, auto and umbrella.
Workers’ compensation may be legally required for some farm workers. Even in states where farm workers are exempt, there may be question of if the work they were doing at the time of the injury nullifies the exemption.
Carrie used Pollution Coverage as an exemplary add-on to an existing policy. However, farmers may also want to add loss of income coverage as well.
Protect Your Best Assets
Each farm is specialized; each farm differs from the next. Therefore, it is crucial to have the ability to analyze and choose coverage that is tailored to individual needs. As Carrie says, an insurance agent should serve as a “trusted advisor and protector of your assets.”
Consult Westfield’s Farm Insurance policies to explore the possibilities.
What risks has your farm run into? What types of coverage seem to best suit common risks associated with the trade? Feel free to share comments below.