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Spend wisely on farm insurance

Finance First: Choose the right coverage for your farm operation and make sure you don't overpay.

Darren Frye, CEO

September 13, 2023

2 Min Read
Aerial view of farm and fields
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It seems we’re spending a lot every year on our farm insurance for liability and equipment coverage. I’m not even sure it’s good coverage – I just pay the premium every year. Any tips on how to make sure we’re spending our money wisely on farm insurance? – P.D., Ind.

On the farm, property and liability insurance tends to be something where we pay the bill and move on, so many farms have big opportunities to make improvements in a couple ways.

First, make sure that your operation isn’t overpaying. There’s quite a variety in premium levels from provider to provider. Get an understanding of whether you have the right carrier for your operation and your region.

Second, the more important thing for the financial health of your operation is ensuring that you have the right coverage. Many operations simply don’t have the right coverage and end up with major gaps and holes when it comes to liability. If something were to happen you would face a huge financial risk, and you wouldn’t even know about it until it was too late.

Ensure you’re proactively communicating changes in assets with your agent. They can’t magically know when you trade a tractor or buy a piece of land. Have a designated person – whether yourself or someone else – update the agent with any changes.

Related:Why your lender might change their requirements

Make sure your agent is providing leadership. They should be proactively doing annual reviews with their clients – sitting down to review coverage for proper levels and to catch any changes. If your current agent isn’t doing an annual review with you, that’s a red flag.

Your agent should educate you about what comes with your policy, the expectations you can have around coverage, and if you have a loss, whether it makes sense for your operation to write a check for a small event. An agent who acts as a coach to help you make wise decisions is key.

If your agent isn’t doing these things, there are agents out there who specialize in farm coverage – and they don’t have to live within 10 miles of you. I would recommend finding the right agent with a high level of expertise – especially if you have a complex operation. Make sure you have the right coverage you need, in the hopes that you never need it.

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About the Author(s)

Darren Frye

CEO, Water Street Solutions

Darren Frye grew up on an innovative, integrated Illinois farm. He began trading commodities in 1982 and started his first business in 1987, specializing in fertilizer distribution and crop consulting. In 1994 he started a consulting business, Water Street Solutions to help Midwest farmers become more successful through financial analysis, crop insurance, marketing consulting and legacy planning. The mission of Finance First is to get you to look at spreadsheets and see opportunity, to see your business for what it can be, and to help you build your agricultural legacy.

Visit Water Street Solutions

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