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Property and Liability Insurance


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#1 LsHay

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 11:16 AM

This year I'm going to be making and selling my own hay with my own equipment.  In the past the fields were rented to another farmer who kept all the hay.   I need to re-evaluate my insurance coverage for this new commercial-type exposure.  What advice can anyone give me as to which companies are best for farm coverage and what type of coverage I should be looking for?  I have 38 acres of hay in Maryland, and I live in a house on the farm.  Replacement cost for my tractors and hay equipment is about $100k and I have a pole barn that will house the hay and equipment, replacement cost $60-80k.  I do not intend to make hay on anyone else's property.  I expect to hire some help for the few days of haymaking per cutting.

 

I'm getting different answers about what I need from different sources and of course every insurance company's agent says their policy is best so I take everything they tell me with a grain of salt.  Please give me the benefit of your experience and help me get it right the first time.

 

Thank you!

 

L



#2 endrow

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 12:49 PM

I would search for the Maryland Farm Bureau web site and look for the recommendation of insurance agents they recommend /. You may even find one specific to your county they will have listings of Nation Wide Agents who speak farming .... Or if you can get your hands on a Lancaster farming Newspaper  there will be adds for plenty of farm specific ins agents who will talk to someone from Maryland.      Th e   Insurance agent / broker I deal with in Ephrata Pa  specializes in AG and  writes policy's for farmers in MD and DE often .


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#3 LsHay

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:18 PM

endrow,

 

What companies does your agent represent?  What company are you insured with?

 

I have already put in a call to Nationwide, found they have a relationship with Farm Bureau in Maryland.


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#4 endrow

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:40 PM

endrow,

 

What companies does your agent represent?  What company are you insured with?

 

I have already put in a call to Nationwide, found they have a relationship with Farm Bureau in Maryland.

He writes for a bunch we use WestFeild and  NationWide and Rain&Hail for crop isurance. 


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#5 r82230

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 02:26 PM

There are several company's here in Michigan.  I was with FB for a lot of years, until they become greedy (pricey) for my situation.

 

I'd suggest ask a few farmers in YOUR neck of the woods who they are with and who their agent is.  FB agent's in Michigan are captative agents I do believe (captative meaning they can only sell that company's product). 

 

I work with an independent agent (agency) now, presently my coverage is via Home Owners (a division of Auto Owners).  I have had Hasting's Insurance Co. in the past.  You might have Nationwide, State Farm & Liberty Mutual also available in your area. 

 

I'm, from the camp that you can become insurance 'poor' if you allow it to happen. :cool:   In the same regard, what works for my situation might not work for your situation. :o

 

HTH

 

Larry



#6 JRehberg

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 08:25 AM

A couple things you can do.  First I'm assuming this is not your primary income.  

 

1.  Your homeowners policy more than likely includes coverage for Other Structures (Coverage B ).  These are generally defined as other structures on the insured premises not attached to your primary residence.  You should be able to increase the Coverage B on your HO policy to cover your barn and possibly contents.  Generally HO policies allow for incidental business coverage (as long as it's not your primary income).  For your tractors and equipment you can get an Inland Marine Policy to cover these items.  The inland marine policy will be one policy with everything listed you want to insure (tractor, mower, baler, etc).  

 

2.  Check with your local FB or independent agent, they often have policies available that will cover home, barn and equipment in one policy.  Note however that this coverage may or may not be written on a FB policy.  There are other insurance carriers that specialize in this type of coverage so the FB agent may write it on another company's paper.  There is probably an agent in your area who specializes in writing policies similar to what you're looking for; ask around, he/she shouldn't be hard to find.  For a comprehensive policy, don't be surprised if you see large differences in premium between carriers.  These carriers are usually what are defined as "surplus lines" carriers which means their rates are not as heavily regulated as "admitted" carries (admitted carriers would be State Farm, Allstate, FB, etc).  There's nothing wrong with surplus lines carriers, they just represent such a small percentage of the market that their regulatory requirements are just not as burdensome as admitted carriers.        

 

A good agent should be willing to research and quote you both options above.  I would also recommend that you get the two scenarios above from several different agents.  Quotes for these items can vary a lot between insurance companies.  Lastly, check your HO policy and make sure you're carrying the highest liability limit they offer.  Insurance companies usually quote policies with a $100k or $300k liability limit but offer higher liability limits but don't actively advertise the higher limits.  Case in point, I'm insured with USAA and had a $300k liability limit on my HO policy.  A few years back I noticed that they offer a $1M liability limit; I was able to increase my $300k liability limit to $1M for $13 annually.  Needless to say if someone sues me, USAA is going to send a plane load of blood sucking lawyers to defend me.  This coverage would extend to incidental business coverage as well on my particular HO policy.  If you decide to carry an umbrella policy as well, a $1M liability limit on the underlying HO policy will decrease the premium on the umbrella policy.  The umbrella policy attaches after the liability limit on the underlying HO policy.    

 

I'm an actuary for a personal lines insurance company in Florida but I believe the items above would be applicable in Maryland as well.  Don't hesitate to shoot me a PM if you have any more questions.

 

Jesse 


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