Now that crop-insurance decisions are in the rearview mirror, farmers should take time to assess insurance levels in other areas of their farm operation, says Chris Barron of Ag View Solutions. An annual insurance review can be timed before planting to avoid disrupting field work.
“Take a look at your liability coverage and make sure that that’s sufficient,” Barron says in the latest episode of AgWeb.com’s “Margin Minute” airing during the week of March 21, 2017. “Bring that insurance agent in. Have a conversation about your liability coverage levels. Are they sufficient?”
Other insurance areas farmers should double-check include:
- Blanket policies. Alert your agent to any factors that might have changed on the farm in the past year, such as building improvements, shop upgrades or grain-bin work. The same goes for changes in equipment, such as trading in a combine. “Making sure that those lists are updated is really important,” Barron says.
- Peak coverage levels. Some operations experience changes in inventory during the course of a year. Determine whether it’s pertinent to have different levels of coverage over the next 12 months, Barron says.
- Business structures. If your business structure has changed in the past year, or if you are sharing assets such as equipment with other farmers, you need to alert your agent. “Let them be aware of the exposure that you may have,” Barron says. “Do you have sufficient coverage for that type of exposure? Make sure that they also communicate with their insurance agents, too.” Doing so will help prevent gaps in coverage.
- Service contracts. Ask contractors to provide proof of insurance before they start any work on your farm. If you fail to do this and an injury or damage occurs, your policy will have primary responsibility for covering any financial consequences, Barron says.