Farm And Ranch Insurance Policy Information
Farm And Ranch Insurance. Farms survive only if their owners are flexible. The farmer must be able to change as the market changes.
An insurance program for farmers must be just as a flexible. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) and AAIS provide excellent farm and ranch insurance coverage forms which provide such flexibility.
The key is allowing a mix and match of personal and commercial exposures. This is the only industry where such a mixture exists.
Coverage is available to cover the following farm & ranch exposures: Property, Inland Marine, Liability. Read on to get more in depth descriptions of these coverages and how the help to protect farmers and ranchers from every day and less common risks.
Farm and ranch insurance protects farmers and ranchers lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked poultry farm insurance questions:
- How Much Does Farm And Ranch Insurance Cost?
- What's The Difference Between Farm Insurance & Homeowner's Policies?
- What Does Farm And Ranch Property Insurance Cover?
- What Does Farm And Ranch Inland Marine Insurance Cover?
- What Does Farm And Ranch Liability Insurance Cover?
- What Does Farm And Ranch Combination Insurance Policy Cover?
- What Are Common Farm & Ranch Operations And Risks?
How Much Does Farm And Ranch Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard Farm & Ranch Insurance policy for small farms and ranches ranges from $47 to $89 per month based on location, operations, claims history and more.
What's The Difference Between Farm Insurance & Homeowner's Policies?
It is essential to distinguish between personal property and farm property as homeowners' policies do not cover farm equipment. Your agent may be able to provide both, but insuring anything in the revenue pathway from your farm should be done with a separate farm and ranch insurance policy.
What Does Farm And Ranch Property Insurance Cover?
Seven classes of property may be insured under the ISO farm and ranch insurance policy, as follows:
- Coverage A - Dwelling
- Coverage B - Other Private Structures Appurtenant To Dwellings
- Coverage C - Household Personal Property
- Coverage D - Loss of Use
- Coverage E - Scheduled Farm Personal Property
- Coverage F - Unscheduled Farm Personal Property
- Coverage G - Other Farm Structures
There are three causes of loss options for farm and ranch insurance property coverage.
There is no requirement that each coverage on a policy have the same cause of loss. This means that Coverage A may use a Causes of Loss-Special, but the other Farm Structures use Causes of Loss - Basic.
This is another example of flexibility that the farm and ranch insurance policy offers.
Covered Causes of Loss - Basic Coverage: This includes only fire or lightning, windstorm or hail, explosion, riot or civil commotion, vehicles, aircraft, smoke, vandalism and malicious mischief, theft, sinkhole collapse, volcanic action, and collision that damages livestock or covered farm machinery.
Covered Causes of Loss - Broad Coverage: In addition to the basic causes of loss, this form adds electrocution; dog attacks; drowning and accidental shooting of covered livestock; loading/unloading accidents; breakage of glass; falling objects; weight of ice, snow or sleet; collapse of buildings; sudden and accidental tearing asunder of heating systems and appliances; accidental discharge of water or steam; freezing of plumbing, heating systems and appliances; and sudden and accidental injury from electrical currents.
Covered Causes of Loss - Special: Instead of listing the causes of loss that are covered, this protects against all causes of direct physical loss except for those specifically excluded or limited.
Some of the exclusions are: fire damage involving tobacco operations; collapse; wind or hail damage to dairy products, farm products, watercraft, or related equipment when any such property is in the open; weather-related damage to any personal property that is in the open; weather-related damage to the interior of any structure (or property inside the structure) unless the weather activity first creates an opening in the structure's roof or walls; freezing or similar damage to foundations, pavements, patios, fences, pools, and other property; and discharge or overflow from plumbing, heating, air-conditioning or fire sprinkler systems, or from appliances.
ADDITIONAL COVERAGES - FARM AND RANCH PROPERTY INSURANCE
The farm coverage part includes the following additional farm and ranch insurance coverages:
- Debris removal
- Reimbursement for reasonable repairs and for moving property that is endangered by a covered cause of loss
- Fire department service charges
- Removal of fallen trees
- Credit cards, forgery, and counterfeit money defense costs
- Cost of restoring farm operations records
- Extra expense coverage
- Pollutant cleanup and removal
OPTIONAL COVERAGES - FARM AND RANCH PROPERTY INSURANCE
Many endorsements are available to customize the farm and ranch insurance property coverage form to meet the needs of most farm owners and tenant farmers.
What Does Farm And Ranch Inland Marine Insurance Cover?
Every farm has significant investment in equipment. This equipment can be covered under the commercial property coverage but as with commercial coverage forms, the farm inland marine forms provide broader coverage and more flexible conditions.
Livestock farmers are heavily invested in their livestock. Some of the livestock can be covered under the commercial property coverage form, but the farm inland marine coverage has broader eligibility and more flexible conditions.
It is important to coordinate farm and ranch insurance coverage with the property coverage form in order to prevent any duplication of coverage.
What Does Farm And Ranch Liability Insurance Cover?
ELIGIBILITY - FARM AND RANCH LIABILITY INSURANCE
Most farmers can insure the liability for their personal and farming activities in a single, inclusive form of liability insurance- a farm and ranch insurance liability policy.
The eligibility is broad enough that anyone with an insurable interest in a farm or ranch operation can be insured on the policy.
However, in order to better define what is considered a farm or ranch, the following are not considered eligible operations:
- Farms whose principal purpose is to supply commodities for manufacturing or processing by the insured for sale to others. In this group will fall farms operated by creameries and dairies. Dairy farmers who do not manufacture or process are eligible for the policy, as are beef farmers who slaughter and dress their livestock, and vegetable farmers who bunch or crate vegetables and fruit.
- Farms operating freezing or dehydrating plants, and poultry factories.
- Farms with dwellings that exceed four-family unit size or that are used for business purposes.
Note: Liability coverage for farms that do not meet the above criteria can be written using commercial general liability coverage forms.
COVERAGE - FARM AND RANCH LIABILITY INSURANCE
The farm and ranch insurance liability coverage is practically identical to the personal liability policy. The chief difference between the two policies is that the farm policy includes coverage on farming operations as well as personal activities.
It is important to remember that this form is expanded personal liability coverage. When the risk becomes more commercial and less personal, the commercial general liability policy should be used for the farm operation and a dwelling or homeowner policy used for the personal exposure.
Specifically, this farm and ranch insurance liability coverage part will provide the following coverages:
- Coverage H - Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
- Coverage I - Personal and Advertising Injury Liability
- Coverage J - Medical Payments
The exclusions that apply to most personal liability policies, and most commercial liability coverage forms apply, such as: contractual liability; pollution; release or discharge from aircraft; aircraft or motorized vehicles; watercraft; mobile equipment; business pursuits; custom farming; professional services; rented or borrowed premises; communicable disease; workers compensation and similar laws; employers liability; structures under construction; injury to insureds; damage to an insured's property, work or product; damage to impaired property; product recalls; physical or mental abuse; and controlled substances and other situations.
The farm and ranch insurance liability policy also does not cover property damage arising out of any substance released or discharged from any aircraft. It also excludes bodily injury and property damages when livestock are used or trained for racing.
In addition, business operations that are distinct from the farming operations are excluded in a way similar to the in-home business exclusion in a personal liability policy.
ADDITIONAL COVERAGES - FARM AND RANCH LIABILITY INSURANCE
This farm and ranch insurance coverage part also provides the following:
- All expenses connected to investigating and defending against a claim
- All interest that accrues on a judgment against an insured
- Bail bond expense - up to $250
- Prejudgment interest awarded against an insured
- Reasonable expenses incurred by an insured
- Similar to other liability policies in that all of the following are provided outside the limit of insurance:
- Supplementary Payments
What Does Farm And Ranch Combination Insurance Policy Cover?
POLICY CONSTRUCTION - FARM AND RANCH COMMINATION INSURANCE POLICY
Just as the Commercial Insurance Program has a package, there is a farm combination policy in the farm program.
If a farm operation is eligible for the farm combination policy, there is a significant pricing credit but there is no coverage difference.
The farm and ranch insurance combination policy does not contain any unique policy forms.
The policy is formed by simply combining the desired coverage forms. The policy is constructed as follows:
- Common policy declarations
- Common policy conditions
- Two or more coverage parts
- Coverage parts' declarations
- Coverage parts' conditions, if applicable
The stand-alone property, inland marine and liability policies use the common policy declarations and common policy conditions, but when all are combined on the combination policy, only one common declarations and one common policy condition is needed.
In addition, if there are cancellations or nonrenewal endorsements that apply to more than one coverage part, only one needs to be attached.
RISK AND COVERAGE PART ELIGIBILITY - FARM AND RANCH COMMINATION INSURANCE POLICY
There is no requirement that a certain form or forms be used in order to qualify for the farm combination policy. This is particularly important because the commercial general liability policy may be used instead of the farm liability policy at times and will not compromise the eligibility.
The comparison to the commercial package policy continues in that eligibility requires both property and liability coverage to be written on the policy. In particular, all of the farm buildings, dwellings, and farm personal property as well as all of the liability associated with the operation must be insured.
There are some exceptions, such as when all buildings are not under common ownership.
Certain operations are not eligible for the farm and ranch insurance combination policy. This does not mean they cannot use the farm forms; it simply means they cannot receive the combination credit. The situations that are barred from the combination program are:
- Any premises with structures housing activities that are not part of the farm operation
- Farm premises with dwellings designed to house more than four families
- Farms that are not occupied by the insured. The one exception is when the insured is actively involved in the operation such as having a contract for management or a tenant who is operating the farm under the insured's supervision.
- Farms that are not occupied or are vacant
- Farms that are really dehydrating or freezing operations, or poultry factories
- Farms that supply goods specifically for a manufacturing operation and that are owned or controlled by that manufacturing operation
What Are Common Farm & Ranch Operations And Risks?
There are many different types of farms and ranches, and each faces different operations, risks and exposures. Below of a brief description of some more common farming operations:
BEEF CATTLE FARMS
Beef farmers raise cattle for their meat. Calves are generally bred on-site using a bull or artificial insemination. Some farmers board feeder calves owned by others. The calves may graze in pastures when available but in drought or severe weather conditions may be kept in paddocks. They feed on grass, hay and other approved feed and supplements until they reach market weight.
At that time, the farmer either drives the animals to the processing plant or hires a carrier to transport them. Many operations raise their own grain to turn into feed for their livestock. Cattle farms are subject to regulation by the USDA, FDA, and EPA.
CASH GRAIN OPERATIONS
Cash grain farms grow a variety of grain crops for sale, including barley, corn, oats, rice, rye, soybeans, and wheat. While weather conditions are outside the control of farmers, grain farming also depends on natural substances such as compost and manure to be successful, plus several chemical applications such as fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides.
Bailers, combines, cultivators, disks, drills, hay rakes, mowers, plows, press wheels, seeders, tillers, tractors, and other types of farming machinery are required to support grain production on these farms.
Dairy farmers produce milk and milk products such as butter, buttermilk, cheese, and yogurt, from cows or goats. Milking is done two to three times each day, with some modern dairies performing milking on a 24-hour basis. After sanitizing the animal, a device is attached to the udder to pump milk into a holding tank.
There, the milk is refrigerated until processed by the dairy or transported to an aggregator for combining with other milk before being processed.
Since milk naturally contains bacteria that will cause it to spoil quickly even if refrigerated, it is put through a heating process called pasteurization to destroy the bacteria. If the dairy sells the milk directly to retailers, homogenization also occurs to keep the cream from rising to the top. Additional processes are used to manufacture other milk products.
Many operations raise their own grain to turn into feed for their livestock. To keep milk production high, dairy animals must be bred regularly, which also maintains a steady supply of replacements for milking. Dairies are subject to regulation by the USDA, FDA, and EPA.
Fish hatcheries and fish farms raise finfish such as bass, carp, catfish, salmon, or tilapia and shellfish such as oysters, prawns, scallops, and shrimp. Aquaculture facilities may keep fish in enclosed natural ponds, in-ground man-made pits, or above-ground pools.
Hatcheries often use selective breeding and artificially-induced spawning to produce larva that are kept in nurseries until they are large enough to be transferred to freshwater or saltwater rearing tanks
The fish are fed with plankton, commercial feed, or insects until they reach market weight. At that time, the farmer either drives the fish to the processing plant or hires a carrier to transport them. Some farms sell directly to restaurants or individuals. The 2015 FDA approval of a genetically modified salmon for human consumption has generated substantial controversy due to safety concerns.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE FARMS
Fruit and vegetable farms grow produce in bogs, in the ground, or on bushes, stalks, or vines. Products include beans, sweet corn, leafy vegetables, pumpkins and squashes, root vegetables, tomatoes, and fruits such as berries, table grapes, and melons. Some have retail operations where customers visit the premises, even picking their own produce from plants.
Some take their produce to local farmers' markets while others drive the produce to processing plants or hire a carrier to transport them. While weather conditions are outside the control of farmers, produce farming depends on natural substances such as compost and manure to be successful, plus several chemical applications such as fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides.
Combines, cultivators, disks, mowers, plows, seeders, tillers, tractors, and other types of farming machinery are required to support production on these farms.
Horse farms (other than race horses) buy, breed, raise, sell, and train horses. They are kept in open pastures or paddocks during warm weather but in barn stalls at night and during inclement weather. The stalls must be cleaned regularly to remove manure and urine. They are fed grain and hay along with vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy and strong.
Horse farms may board horses belonging to others, rent horses for recreational purposes, and/or offer riding lessons. Some horse farm facilities are used by rehabilitative service organizations to provide riding lessons for physically, emotionally, and/or mentally challenged adults and children. Some grow grain and hay to feed the horses.
Racehorse farms buy, breed, raise, sell, and train horses specifically selected for their speed. Racehorses are expensive and can be temperamental. They require careful selection, excellent veterinary services, and exceptional trainers. They are kept in open pastures or paddocks during warm weather but in barn stalls at night and during inclement weather.
The stalls must be cleaned regularly to remove manure and urine. They are fed specially designed feeds along with vitamins and supplements to keep them healthy and strong. Staff is on duty 24 hours a day to respond to the horses' needs and to provide security. Racehorse farms often board and train animals belonging to others. Some grow grain and hay to feed the horses.
Nut farms grow their produce on trees or in the ground. Tree nuts include almonds, cashews, coconuts, chestnuts, filberts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts, while peanuts are grown underground. Some tree nut farms have retail operations where customers visit the premises, including “You Pick It” operations. At harvest time, tree nuts must be blown or shaken off the trees, either by hand or using mechanical pickers.
Peanut plants are uprooted, and the peanuts allowed to dry before being threshed from the plants. The tree nuts or peanuts are dried, cracked open, and cleaned. They may be boiled, roasted, salted, or be processed into oils or spreads. Some are used for making paint, polishes, or silage.
Nut farms depend on natural substances such as compost and manure to be successful, plus a number of chemical applications such as fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides.
Pickers, tillers, tractors, and other types of farming machinery are required to support production. At harvest time, the farmer either drives the produce to processing plants or hires a carrier to transport them. Nut farms are regulated by the FDA.
ORCHARDS AND GROVES
Orchards grow fruit and nuts on trees or shrubs, including apples, berries, cherries, pears, peaches, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts. Orchards for citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges are often called groves.
Some orchards have retail operations where customers visit the premises, including"You Pick It" operations. Some process their goods into cider, jellies, or jams to sell to customers.
Others take their products to local farmers' markets. At harvest time, the farmer either drives the produce to processing plants or hires a carrier to transport them. Orchards and groves depend on natural substances such as compost and manure to be successful, plus several chemical applications such as fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides.
Mowers, pickers, tillers, tractors, and other types of farming machinery are required to support production.
Poultry farmers raise chickens and turkeys for eggs and meat. Some raise more exotic fowl such as ducks, geese, guinea, ostrich, peacocks, quail or squab. Birds can be raised in confinement or free-range, although free-range fowl are kept indoors during inclement weather and at night due to predators. Beaks may be trimmed to prevent the birds from aggression or feathering pecking and eating.
Feed is provided along with vaccinations to keep the stock healthy until they reach market weight. The farmer either drives the birds or eggs to the processing plant or hires a carrier to transport them. Many operations raise their own grain to turn into feed.
Poultry farms are subject to regulation by the USDA, FDA, and EPA. While the use of antibiotics for poultry has been approved by the FDA since 1951, the practice has generated increased controversy due to concerns about human antibiotic resistance.
SHEEP AND GOAT FARMS
Sheep and goat farmers raise animals to produce milk, meat, and/or wool. Lanolin may be used in manufacturing cosmetics, while skin may be used to make leather or parchment. The animals graze in pastures and are fed supplemental silage. Milk can be extracted by hand or using automated milking machines.
The milk can be sent to an aggregator for combining with other milk before processed and packaged, or it can be processed, packaged, and marketed directly to customers.
To keep milk production high, animals must be bred regularly, which also maintains a steady supply of replacements for milking. Animals grown for their meat are kept until they reach market weight. At that time, the farmer either drives the animals to the processing plant or hires a carrier to transport them.
Many operations raise their own grain to turn into feed for their livestock. Sheep are sheared annually, and the fleeces sold as wool. Angora goats are sheered for their mohair fleece while other goats provide cashmere and other fine fiber. Sheep and goat farms are subject to regulation by the USDA, FDA, and EPA.
Swine farmers raise pigs primarily for meat and lard, although some also supply skin for making leather goods. Pigs are generally bred on-site using boars or artificial insemination. Sows produce an average litter of twelve piglets which can be raised in confinement or free-range with indoor housing available during inclement weather and at night due to predators.
While pigs love to forage, pastureland does not provide adequate quantities of food, so they are fed grains, by-products, and other nutrients until they reach market weight. At that time, the farmer either drives the animals to the processing plant or hires a carrier to transport them. Many operations raise their own grain to turn into feed for their animals. Swine farms are subject to regulation by the USDA, FDA, and EPA.
Tobacco farms produce leaves that can be made into cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and snuff. At harvest time, the tobacco leaves are removed from the stems of the plants, cleaned, and cured in large, well-ventilated barns. Curing can be solely by air or by using controlled fires placed below the leaves. Flavoring agents may be added during the curing process. Some farmers then arrange transport of the cured leaves to a nearby tobacco sales auction warehouse.
Others are under contract with a tobacco manufacturer and transport of the leaves is based on the terms of the contract. Tobacco farms depend on several chemical applications such as fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides. Pickers, tillers, tractors, and other types of farming machinery are required to support production.
Beekeepers or apiarists collect bees' honey and other products such as pollen, beeswax, and royal jelly, place hives to pollinate crops, and/or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers.
Bees live in hives that have traditionally been constructed of wood but are now available in polystyrene. Hives have removable covers and frames in which bees build honeycomb, allowing the beekeeper to inspect the hive for signs of disease (such as Colony Collapse Disorder) or parasites, an aging queen which means imminent swarming, or other conditions that require intervention. The removable frames permit easy harvesting of honey and other products.
Frames may be hung as an aid in pollination. The beekeeper may sell all its honey to manufacturers or may process all or some for retail sale.
Alligator farms raise alligators for their meat and leather. Eggs or juvenile animals can be captured in the wild or obtained by breeding stock. Because alligator farming requires high heat and humidity plus an ongoing source of water, they are concentrated in southern states. Alligators may be kept in enclosed marshes or swamps, concrete pits, or environmentally-controlled hothouses complete with piped-in music.
Alligators are prone to many diseases, including caiman pox, chlamydia, crocodile pox, mycobacteria, salmonella, and West Nile Virus transmitted by mosquitoes, contact with other animals, or from eating contaminated meat. Alligators reach marketable size of three feet in about a year. At that time, the farmer either drives them to the processing plant or hires a carrier to transport them.
Many alligator farms supplement their income with tourism. As alligators are a protected species, these farms are regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
Division A: Agriculture, Forestry, And Fishing
This division includes establishments primarily engaged in agricultural production, forestry, commercial fishing, hunting and trapping, and related services.
The classification of agricultural production covers establishments (e.g., farms, ranches, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries, orchards, hatcheries) primarily engaged in the production of crops, plants, vines, or trees (excluding forestry operations); and the keeping, grazing, or feeding of livestock for the sale of livestock or livestock products (including serums), for livestock increase, or for value increase.
Livestock as used here includes cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, and poultry. Also included are animal specialties, such as horses, rabbits, bees, pets, fur-bearing animals in captivity, and fish in captivity. Agricultural production also includes establishments primarily engaged in the operation of sod farms, cranberry bogs, and poultry hatcheries; in the production of mushrooms, bulbs, flower seeds, and vegetable seeds; and in the growing of hydroponic crops.
Farms are the establishment units generally utilized for the purpose of industrial classification of agricultural production. A farm may consist of a single tract of land or a number of separate tracts which may be held under different tenures. For example, one tract may be owned by the farm operator and another rented.
It may be operated by the operator alone or with the assistance of members of the household or hired employees, or it may be operated by a partnership, corporation, or other type of organization. When a landowner has one or more tenants, renters, croppers, or managers, the land operated by each is considered a farm.
The classification of agricultural services includes establishments primarily engaged in supplying soil preparation services, crop services, landscape and horticultural services, veterinary and other animal services, and farm labor and management services.
The classification of forestry covers establishments primarily engaged in the operation of timber tracts, tree farms, or forest nurseries; in the gathering of forest products; or in performing forestry services. Logging establishments are classified in Manufacturing, Industry 2411.
The classification of fishing and hunting and trapping covers establishments primarily engaged in commercial fishing (including shellfish and marine products); in operating fish hatcheries and fish and game preserves; and in commercial hunting and trapping.
Establishments which produce agricultural commodities and sell them directly to the general public for personal or household consumption are classified in Major Groups 01 and 02.
Industry Group 011: Cash Grains
- 0111 Wheat
- 0112 Rice
- 0115 Corn
- 0116 Soybeans
- 0119 Cash Grains, Not Elsewhere Classified
Industry Group 013: Field Crops, Except Cash Grains
- 0131 Cotton
- 0132 Tobacco
- 0133 Sugarcane and Sugar Beets
- 0134 Irish Potatoes
- 0139 Field Crops, Except Cash Grains, Not Elsewhere Classified
Industry Group 016: Vegetables And Melons
- 0161 Vegetables and Melons
Industry Group 017: Fruits And Tree Nuts
- 0171 Berry Crops
- 0172 Grapes
- 0173 Tree Nuts
- 0174 Citrus Fruits
- 0175 Deciduous Tree Fruits 0179 Fruits and Tree Nuts, Not Elsewhere Classified
Industry Group 018: Horticultural Specialties
- 0181 Ornamental Floriculture and Nursery Products
- 0182 Food Crops Grown Under Cover
Industry Group 019: General Farms, Primarily Crop
- 0191 General Farms, Primarily Crop
Industry Group 021: Livestock, Except Dairy And Poultry
- 0211 Beef Cattle Feedlots
- 0212 Beef Cattle, Except Feedlots
- 0213 Hogs
- 0214 Sheep and Goats
- 0219 General Livestock, Except Dairy and Poultry
Industry Group 024: Dairy Farms
- 0241 Dairy Farms
Industry Group 025: Poultry And Eggs
- 0251 Broiler, Fryer, and Roaster Chickens
- 0252 Chicken Eggs
- 0253 Turkeys and Turkey Eggs
- 0254 Poultry Hatcheries
- 0259 Poultry and Eggs, Not Elsewhere Classified
Industry Group 027: Animal Specialties
- 0271 Fur-Bearing Animals and Rabbits
- 0272 Horses and Other Equines
- 0273 Animal Aquaculture
- 0279 Animal Specialties, Not Elsewhere Classified
Industry Group 029: General Farms, Primarily Livestock And Animal
- 0291 General Farms, Primarily Livestock and Animal Specialties
Farm And Ranch Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the exact types of farm and ranch insurance policies you'll need, how much coverage your farming or ranching operations needs - speak with an experienced insurance broker who understands the unique risks of farms and ranches.
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.
Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Workers Compensation Insurance||What is covered under workers compensation insurance? This type of insurance protects a business and its owner(s) from claims by employees who suffer a work-related injury, illness or disease. Workers comp typically provides the injured employee with benefits to cover medical expenses, a portion of his/her lost wages, rehabilitation costs if applicable, and permanent partial or permanent total disability.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Liquor Liability Insurance||What is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
Also learn about small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including small business commercial insurance costs. Call us (855) 767-7828.
Additional Resources For Agribusiness Insurance
Learn about small business agribusiness insurance - a type of commercial insurance protects farmers against loss of, or damage to crops or livestock.
- Aquaculture Fish Farm
- Commercial Fishermen
- Dairy Farm
- Equine & Horse Farm
- Farm And Ranch
- Farm Equipment Dealers
- Farm Labor Contractors
- Livestock & Cattle
- Nursery And Greenhouse
- Nut Farm
- Poultry Farm
- Sheep & Goat Farm
- Swine, Hog & Pig Farm
- Tobacco Farm
Farming is, and has always been a tough business. There are many uncontrollable factors for farmers to deal with - like the weather, vermin, or other natural catastrophes. Any of these can destroy cash crops, such as corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat, and put the farmer in a very bad financial situation.
Insurance for agribusiness falls into three general categories:
The first is property insurance on the buildings and the usually substantial amount of business personal property made up of machinery, livestock, equipment and other stock.
The second is liability for both premises and products.
The last is protection for worker injuries. Commercial auto insurance should be written if the operation owns vehicles and especially if it transports its own products.
There are a wide variety of agribusiness insurance options that are available to farmers. These policies allow them to to receive compensation in the event of a poor growing season, dropping prices, cattle disease or catastrophic natural event.
Loss of crops or livestock can financially ruin an agribusiness operation. The crop insurance agrees to indemnify the farmer, rancher or grower against losses which occur during the crop year. Losses have to be caused by things which are unavoidable or beyond the farmer's control - like a drought, freeze and/or disease.
Some policies offer coverage due to adverse weather events such as the inability to plant due to excess moisture or losses due to the quality of the crop.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Buildings, Business Personal Property, Crop Insurance, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Goods in Transit, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Business Income and Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Farm Owners, Flood, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Forgery, Money and Securities, Cyber Liability, Employee Benefits, Employment-related Practices Liability, Product Recall, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones).