Ranchers and farm operators have a lot of property to protect. They also do a lot of services for others. They might be suppliers for local businesses. They might hire neighbors to work the land during seasonal periods. They might even be major employers in the area.
A local landowner might pose increased liabilities to third parties. That's why they will need very specific liability insurance. How can you advocate for your clients in this manner?
In many cases, farm and ranch owners will need different forms of liability insurance. However, even that might not be enough. Sometimes, they might benefit from umbrella liability insurance on top of their existing coverage. It is there to help when your standard liability limits might not.
The Liability Risks For Farmers
Running a farm does present safety hazards to others. Simply put, if guests ever visit the property, they might not know their way around a barnyard the same way owners do. Therefore, they might get hurt in accidents that might not ordinarily be a threat to the owner, but are to them.
Property owners should think about some of the injury and property damage risks that might occur on their property:
- Someone might get hurt when walking on uneven ground
- Animals might bite passersby
- A piece of machinery might malfunction, hurting the user
- Someone might eat one of their products, and become sick
- Vehicles on your property might have wrecks when trying to navigate unpaved roadways
- Barns and outbuildings might present injury risks in various shapes and sizes
These are just a few of the injury risks that might threaten. Factor in normal household liabilities, like those from pets or slip-and-fall risks, and it is easy to see how significant risks to others might be.
To help themselves in these situations, property owners might need to turn to your liability insurance products. Coverage exists to help property owners if a third party sustains personal losses on their properties. However, depending on the nature of a farm, and the type of damage, the liability insurance they might need to use for claims could vary.
Homeowners Liability Insurance
When someone buys land, they will likely face a requirement by a mortgage lender to carry homeowners insurance. The coverage will usually include liability insurance. Most liability policies will contain a couple of elements of coverage:
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage will pay in the event someone gets hurt on the property. For example, if a visitor falls in the barn and hurts themselves, then this coverage might the policyholder you pay for their medical bills.
- Property Damage Liability Coverage will pay for harm that come's to another person's property. For example, if a neighbor stores furniture in the policyholder's barn, and a fire burns the barn and furniture, then the property owner's liability insurance might pay to replace the furniture.
It is in these instances that a homeowners liability insurance policy might help out. However, not all farm owners operate solely for personal uses. They might need business insurance as well.
Commercial Liability Insurance
In many cases, farm owners might need business insurance. Farms and ranches are, after all, often an owner's livelihood. Therefore, the farmer might also need commercial liability insurance in various shapes and sizes.
Most commercial liability policies will contain bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance. However, property owners might also need a few other pieces of assistance, such as:
- Product Liability Insurance to insure against claims that an item sold by the farmer harmed other people.
- Errors & Omissions Coverage that pays in the event a business owner's professional services causes a client financial losses.
- Workers Compensation Insurance in case employees hired by the farm sustain injury or illnesses while doing their work.
When selling policies, ask your clients whether they have commercial plans for their farms. Therefore, you will be able to guide them in the right direction to get coverage.
Umbrella Liability Insurance
A farmer's liability insurance policies will only protect them up to the limits of the coverage. The policies will also usually contain exclusions. Therefore, not every injury that might occur on someone's property will have appropriate insurance protection. Given the size and financial risk of farming, it might be a good idea to talk to your clients about umbrella liability insurance.
Umbrella coverage creates coverage on top of coverage. For example, if an injury cost exceeds the limits of someone's homeowners insurance policy, then the umbrella policy might be able to step in to help. It usually covers extra costs once someone exceeds the limits of their standard liability coverage. It will also often cover damages not insured by a standard policy. In other words, the policy might cover instances that a standard policy might exclude.
The good thing about umbrella insurance policies is that they often apply to multiple types of insurance coverage. For example, with one policy, someone might obtain umbrella coverage for their homeowners, commercial, auto and other liability insurance. Therefore, whenever a farmer or rancher needs help, the policy might be there. Don't hesitate to talk to your clients about coverage.