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Farm Liability Insurance

Farm Liability Insurance

Do you have enough coverage?

Do you have enough insurance coverage for your farm? Insurance is only one, but perhaps the most common, tool in your risk management arsenal, according to Ken Bolton, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Center for Dairy Profitability.

Although a commonly held belief may be that liability insurance covers claims not covered by other policies, liability insurance serves two main purposes; 1) to make payments on your behalf to an injured party and 2) to defend you against alleged liability by a third party within the scope of the coverage. The extent of your coverage is limited by requirements of the policy, stated exclusions and defined dollar limits. Moreover, for an insured individual to be covered by liability insurance, they must be deemed liable for the damage or injury occurring from a negligent action or lack of action.

"Most farm liability policies cover only liability that occurs in the ordinary course of a farm business," Bolton said. "Therefore, supplemental coverage may need to be purchased for coverage pertaining to agritourism, culture labs, custom farm work, direct market stands off the farm premise, contamination of others milk by your own, pick-your-own customers and product liability claims."

UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension, Center for Dairy Profitability and The National Agricultural Law Center have released a publication, Farm Liability Insurance (A3917), that covers risk management, liability coverage, negligence, strict liability, insured individuals, exclusions, legal issues affecting liability, and supplemental coverage. It also includes many case examples to illustrate legal concepts and a glossary of common liability insurance terms.

Legal issues affecting a person's liability concerning fence law, nuisance, the Good Samaritan Law, users of your land and an employer's responsibility for their employees are also addressed.

Farm Liability Insurance (A3917) is available from your county UW-Extension office ( or from Cooperative Extension Publishing. To order, call toll-free: 1-877-947-7827 (WIS-PUBS) or visit the website at

Source: University of Wisconsin-Extension

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