As Plant 16 comes to a close, many of our clients are turning their attention to spraying. We usually see a number of insurance claims this time of year. Many of these claims are relatively minor drift claims – a few acres of headland damaged by a small amount of drift while others can be quite large. We’ve seen six-figure spray inversion claims which are something we would all like to avoid. We thought this would be an ideal time to remind Farmers on insurance basics for Spray 16.
Machinery Loss of Use Coverage: So you made the plunge! You invested in $500,000 in a new state of the art sprayer but the first day your hired man damages one of the booms. Now what? With Loss of Use coverage, you can contact the dealer and have a substitute sprayer delivered as quickly as possible. The Loss of Use coverage pays for the rental expenses of a new sprayer so you can keep on working to get the job done. Farmers should ask their broker if this coverage is built into their policy and if daily maximums on coverage apply. As you all know, farm equipment prices haven’t gone down in recent years.
Spray Drift Coverage: Claims of this nature typically trigger the general liability section of the farm policy (depending on the policy you have). The liability section coverage for damage to someone else’s property (i.e. your neighbor’s crop) and even provides for a legal defense if required. Farmers should be asking questions regarding how much liability coverage would be sufficient for the scope and scale of their business and if there are any exclusion in the policy that would apply directly to their farm.
Pollution Coverage: In our experience, this is not found on many policies and even if it is, there is a very small amount of protection. Farm pollution coverage is recommended and can be purchased at surprisingly reasonable rates. Pollution coverage provides protection for sudden and accidental incidents like chemical or fuel spills and sudden leaks from bulk storage containers. Clean up costs are typically included with the coverage!
Commercial Application Coverage: If you are augmenting your farm income through custom spray/fertilizer application services, then a commercial policy may suit your needs. Insurance companies have strict limitations to how much custom work Farmers can provide and you may want to ask your broker what those limitations are. At Cherry AgSecure, we have a complete commercial applicators policy which covers off misapplication claims, pollution liability claims and even errors in recommending particular product to use.
In our line of work, we don’t like surprises. We suggest that Farmers ask their Insurance providers specific “what if” questions and go though some claims scenarios. This is the only way to make sure that the right coverage is going to be in place at the time you need it the most.
If you would like more information on this or have any questions related to your farm insurance policy, please give us a call.