When livestock is an important aspect of your agribusiness, protecting them via livestock coverage is a must. After all, the financial loss your ranch will experience should your animals become injured or killed as a result of an accident can be devastating. Obviously, as a rancher or farmer, you know life doesn’t always go as planned. Even the most efficient, well-run operations can face unexpected challenges. Therefore, if your livestock is your livelihood, you need to learn more about livestock insurance and why it can be the difference between calamity and a mild setback.
Farm Insurance Policy: Isn’t The Same as Specific Livestock Coverage
If you are like many ranchers and farmers, you have chosen to cover your animals under your farm insurance policy. This coverage combines elements of a commercial package and a homeowners' policy that covers stables, barns, other farm structures, along with household property. Livestock can be covered as farm personal property when a limit for the animals is outlined in the policy declarations.
Livestock Coverage, Not Just for Cattle
Many people mistakenly assume that only cattle are applicable for livestock coverage. In many cases, you can opt to cover a variety of domesticated animals, like sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, and donkeys, and of course cattle, under a livestock insurance policy. Keep in mind, the term livestock does not include any sort of fowl, like birds or chickens as they are listed as poultry and are usually covered differently.
Livestock Coverage Can Include Individuals or Simple Herd Value
In the case of an animal that is immensely more valuable than the rest of the herd, individually listing them can be a better idea than grouping them into herd value. Higher-value livestock can include several types of animals but often includes those that are used for breeding. Of course, even though you can opt to cover your livestock individually, in the vast majority of cases, ranchers and other agricultural professionals most often use herd value to cover their livestock as one herd, instead of individuals.
Coverage Can Be Adjusted Seasonally
As you know, your herd size often fluctuates throughout the year based on birthing season and other factors. It’s important to remember that your insurer can adjust your coverage and your premium rates based on your coverage amount throughout the year. A good livestock adjustor helps you determine the coverage amounts you need based on various changes in your herd throughout the year.
Livestock Collision Coverage Often Not Covered Under Farm Insurance
You can add a livestock collision policy to your farm insurance. However, in many cases, this isn’t a basic coverage that is included. This being said, if you do have a livestock collision policy, any harm caused by a direct collision or upset of vehicles to which the livestock are being transported is covered. Additionally, any livestock that runs into or is stuck by vehicles while crossing, or standing on a public road are also covered.
Not All Livestock Perils Are Covered
Although livestock coverage does include protection from many types of peril, such as fire injury or death or theft, not all perils are covered events as previously mentioned with the collision issue. Thankfully, your insurer will be able to tell you the types of issues that are not included in livestock coverage. This will help you determine your coverage amounts and help you balance your risk tolerance.
Bottom Line: Your Coverage Should be Based on Your Needs
All livestock policy needs will vary from farm to farm, ranch to ranch, herd to herd and person to person. At Winter-Dent & Company, we can help you determine the right amount of coverage that meets your needs and reduces your overall financial risk. Contact us today to learn more about our farm insurance policies and livestock coverage.