Livestock insurance is one of the best things that happened to farmers and ranchers. Whether they will have a bad year or a good year depends on the livestock insurance policy they subscribed to.
When you see farming as a full-time business, you will be moved to protect your animals and investment by purchasing the appropriate livestock insurance policy.
Before we discuss the interesting benefits of livestock insurance, let’s take a look at the definition.
What is Livestock Insurance?
Livestock insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers the mortality of animals due to accidents or diseases. When you lose your farm animals as a result of an accident or disease, or your livestock gets injured, your livestock insurance policy reimburses you whatever you lost.
The two types of livestock insurance policies are livestock gross margin and livestock risk protection.
Here are seven reasons why livestock insurance is so important.
1. Livestock Insurance Gives You Protection Under a Farm Policy
If you have a small to medium-sized spread, a farm policy protects your structures and animals. Similar to homeowner’s insurance, this policy covers livestock individually or as a herd.
Your livestock is covered if they are on your insured premises, but not while they are in transit or away from your spread.
This policy also protects other personal property, like farming equipment, hay, feed, structures and your home. Animals like chickens or other birds aren’t considered livestock – they’re “poultry” that must be covered separately.
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2. Livestock Insurance Protects Your Business From Perils
Life happens fast. It’s important your livestock is covered in case there’s a serious emergency like a fire, smoke exposure or an explosion.
Peril insurance should cover your livestock due to theft, flooding or earthquake. If your livestock is hit by a vehicle or if they die from a collision with the vehicle that transports them, this is also covered.
Depending on the circumstance, you may consider adding a “broad peril” coverage to your policy. This additional clause insures against extreme perils like a boulder falling on the animals, an attack from predators or even accidental shooting.
3. Animal Mortality Coverage
Limited animal mortality coverage can reimburse you for livestock that dies from the injury. If you need broader coverage, full animal mortality reimburses you for animals that die from disease or age.
Sadly, livestock dies for many reasons, but this form of insurance can help you recoup your losses. Read the policy carefully to know what circumstances apply to your animals if they die.
If the livestock dies from a pre-existing condition or if the death is owner-caused, you likely aren’t covered. Make sure your animals are healthy because you’ll need to prove this before you renew your animal mortality coverage.
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4. Protects Your Livestock Business Against Falling Prices
This is where livestock gross margin as a type of livestock insurance policy comes into play. If you’re a livestock producer who sells your animals as a commodity, this form of insurance can protect you from financial losses. The policy is backed by the USDA and pays you if the cash price index falls below a specified amount.
For farmers and ranchers who sell their lambs, cattle or swine for slaughter, your investment is protected against serious losses.
5. Stray Animals Are Covered
Animals have minds of their own. Sometimes, they stray from your farm or ranch. This livestock insurance is usually an option. But it’s essential if you’re concerned about animals escaping and being accidentally harmed or dying.
With straying coverage, the livestock’s death can be covered if it has been struck by lightning or a vehicle. It should also cover your animals if they’re shot by a government official protecting the public from possible harm.
Even if you think your animals are safely cooped up or that your fencing is adequate, you never know when one or more might stray away.
6. Stay Safe From Liability
Since livestock can be unpredictable, it’s essential to include some form of liability coverage with your insurance. This protects you against claims of damage against you or your property.
For example, if a horse kicks an employee or visitor and causes bodily injury, your liability insurance should cover the costs. It also applies to property damage, so if an animal damages someone’s vehicle, for example, it’s covered.
The purpose of livestock liability insurance is to avoid a costly lawsuit. This additional layer of protection gives you peace of mind.
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7. Your Assets are Protected
Every animal you own is an investment, which is why livestock insurance is so important. This insurance reimburses you for the current market value of any animal you lose.
Whether it’s fire, flood or another catastrophe, it’s important your hard-earned money is safe so you can replace any livestock that is lost. Consider extra coverage if you live in a high-risk area or if you’re concerned about changes in livestock prices. This is where adding flood insurance comes into play.
Always notify your insurer when you acquire new animals. This could affect your premiums or you may need to increase your coverage.
For farms and ranches big and small, livestock insurance is an essential part of your business. Make sure you ask questions and read the fine print so you’ll know exactly what’s covered.
Whether it’s a serious accident or a sick animal, insurance helps you recover your loss so you can carry on.