There are farmers in Indiana who have lost not one, but two grain systems to storms, all within the course of a few years. While they may feel like lightning struck twice, and perhaps it did, they also realize that they have learned lessons the hard way. Some of them relate to dealing with insurance companies. Others hearken back to making sure installations are designed properly, and are installed properly during the entire installation process.
Based on the experiences of one farmer in Indiana, here are some questions he wished that he had asked and answered before disaster in the form of strong windstorms took their toll on his farmstead. First, did he have adequate coverage on his grain handling center, including his grain bins?
Maybe you won't be surprised, but it's becoming apparent that not everyone keeps insurance coverage, or at least adequate coverage, on grain bins. Yet a tornado can toss empty bins like sardine tins, destroying an entire costly system in a matter of just seconds.
Another question relates to other buildings, including toolsheds and shops. You may have coverage, but is it adequate? Would it allow you to replace the building if the worst-case scenario happened? After all, worst-case scenarios are what drive most people to carry insurance in the first place.
Third, what about during construction- when do you insure a facility? Do you do it in phases? Or do you wait until the entire facility is complete before taking out insurance on it? If you wait, what happens if a storm comes during construction and takes down part of the system? Will your insurance company still stand behind it?
And what about construction companies doing the work for you? Do they have insurance? What if they are at fault due to poor workmanship? Will their insurance carrier assume responsibility?
One farmer who has been through similar ordeals says the believes farmers should do more like industry does- have a set of blueprints drawn up fro any major project, including construction of a grain handling system. Then have various parties bid on the job, based on the blueprints. Make sure they follow through with the steps outlined in your blueprints, so that the final structure meets the specifications that you want in a grain handling system.