Make sure you are covered with the correct agribusiness insurance

Agribusiness 31 March 2021
Coulter Roache

If you know farming, you know when it comes to insurance, it is a lot like life; one size does not fit all. There are a broad range of insurances which should be considered by farmers, each of which serve different purposes. Insurance policies can contain a lot of legal jargon, so get your legal team to review your relevant insurance provisions. This way you be rest assured that you are adequately protected in the event something goes wrong.

The different types of ag/farm insurance most commonly include:

  • home and contents insurance
  • farm equipment , machinery and building insurance
  • farm liability insurance
  • livestock, fences and hay insurance
  • goods in transit
  • farm loss and business interruption
  • workers compensation insurance to protect farm employees

Customise your Home & Contents

Living in a regional or rural setting, a standard home and contents insurance policy from a popular insurance agency is unlikely to meet your needs. Of course, you have more specific insurance for your farm assets and machinery, but your personal accommodation may need specialty insurance as well. For example, what if there is a disaster that results in damage to your home, and you need temporary accommodation? It is not like you can relocate to the nearest rental when you are already 100kms from the nearest town.

If you own or run an agribusiness and live on your farm, you need tailored home and contents insurance policies that take assets and belongings, as well as your unique situation, into account. Take the time to find an experienced insurer that can create a custom policy and get your lawyer to review it before signing any dotted lines.

Fully Insure your Farm Equipment and Machinery

Normal cars need normal insurance. Farm equipment and machinery needs comprehensive insurance. Your farm equipment and machinery is likely to be the most valuable asset on your farm in terms of both production and the cost of replacement. With farming equipment and machinery costing, specialist insurance is an absolute must.

This type of insurance shall typically cover damage to your farm equipment and machinery, loss or theft of farm equipment and machinery and breakdown insurance – if added as an optional extra.

The following farm equipment and machinery shall typically be covered by farm equipment and machinery insurance:

  • Cultivators, seeders and planters
  • Headers
  • Balers
  • Tractors
  • Front end loaders
  • Backhoes
  • Quad bikes
  • Ride on mowers
  • Ploughs
  • Equipment attachments
  • Bore pumps; and more

Having your lawyer review your farm machinery policy will ensure your continued production in the event of machinery damage or loss.

Protect Your Back Pocket

No matter how well you try to prevent them, accidents still happen. Farm liability insurance is necessary to provide coverage for the unique risks and unforeseeable events associated with regional and rural business operations, farm buildings, farm property, animals, machinery and of course, people working on your farmland.

If an accident occurs or causes injury with your equipment and machinery or on your land, you can be liable. It is incredibly important to make sure that all facets of your operation are covered so you are not personally financially responsible for potential damages. A farm liability policy should be absolutely specific to your agribusiness, taking into account the premises and types of buildings, possible risks of injury from equipment and machinery along with animal, product and pollution liability.

Look After Your Livestock, Hay & Fencing

Often referred to as property insurance, a complete agricultural insurance policy package shall need to include livestock, hay and fencing insurance. Animal mortality is a natural part of farm life, and accidental death or death from disease can be unavoidable. If you have a farm with livestock, insurance is critical in protecting your investment.

Livestock farms also rely heavily on fencing to maintain their integrity and reduce the risk of animal loss. Fences are expensive to maintain and repair, so fencing insurance is a necessity. Hay, silage and grain insurance should also be added for livestock farms, as large amounts can be subject to risks such as fire and spoiling. Also known as fodder insurance, this is designed to cover the cost of replacement and the event of fire caused by storm or combustion. In most cases, fodder must be stored according to the policy for a claim to be valid.

Workers Compensation Certainty

While it seems this may be covered under farm liability, workers compensation insurance is a particular form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured at work. If an employee suffers an accident on your farm, you shall want to try to take care of them, minimise lost productivity and help them get back to work as quickly and healthily as possible.

Given that your employee may need specific medical care, workers compensation insurance shall make sure you do not have to pay out of pocket expenses for bills or rehabilitation. Workers compensation is a compulsory form of insurance for all employers in Australia, so have your lawyer thoroughly review your policy to give you and your employees peace of mind.

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