Farm and ranch insurance policies, often referred to as “farm insurance,” are quite different from the average insurance policy that homeowners carry. Farm insurance is more complex, covering many more areas of risk. For farmers, a home is not merely a place to live but is also part of a business operation. For farm insurance Maryland residents seek professional guidance.
Farm coverage typically includes three separate types of loss protection. First, it’s a standard homeowners policy for the farmer’s home. Secondarily, it includes characteristics of commercial business insurance because it protects the farming operation as the economic enterprise that it is. A third component of farm coverage deals with legal liability that can result from injuries to workers on the property and in farm-owned vehicles.
For farmers who participate in any horse-related activities such as selling horses, conducting riding/show or racing events, teaching equine skills, boarding, and more, equine insurance can offer needed coverage. Indeed, it’s possible for equine-related legal problems to arise from the ownership of personal horses that have no connection with the farming/ranching business.
Equine insurance is a necessity for farmers who take part in or offer horse-related activities, no matter how closely connected the activities are to the farming business. This kind of insurance is the only financial protection that stands between a farmer and a litigant who might bring about a lawsuit for damages, the payment of legal fees, or to settle court costs. Homeowners policies routinely exclude all types of equine liability protection. Without an equine policy in place, farm owners face the prospect of paying damages and legal fees out of their own pockets, directly to litigants and courts.
A central component of any farm business’s insurance protection is a farm workers compensation policy. Farmers have multiple responsibilities as business owners, including concerns about crop health, potential weather problems, commodity market conditions, financing of the operation, and staying in compliance with federal and state regulations. In order to maintain economic viability, farmers have employees turn to specialized insurance protection.
Whether the farm employs one or one-hundred workers (or more) there’s always the potential for legal problems that can arise from worker-related situations like accidents to employees and accidents caused by employees. In both situations the farm owner can be held liable for damages, medical bills, court costs, and legal fees.
It is commonplace for farm workers to sustain injuries on the job. Many states, however, do not mandate that farm owners carry workers compensation insurance. Even in those jurisdictions, it is possible for a farmer to face liability that arises from employee-related accidents and injuries. To address the complex legal requirements of farm insurance Maryland farm owners should be aware of local regulations and laws.
Farm insurance is not the only kind of coverage that includes workers compensation protection. The idea of workers compensation coverage is relatively new, having originated in Europe in the late 1800s. Nowadays, workers in most industries, including farming, have the option to waive the right to sue for damages. Instead, where workers compensation policies are in place, the insurance company pays medical costs and other damages directly to the worker. In some instances, that payment includes lost wages.
For farm owners who want the peace of mind that comes with complete business coverage, a farm workers compensation policy is a must. Depending how such a policy is written, it can include protection against liability for worker-related accidents both on and off the business property. When obtaining a farm insurance quote in marryland, the owner should be careful to make sure the policy addresses the farm’s specific job descriptions and work force composition.
As a matter of course, workers compensation policies for farm employees are designed to reimburse workers who become injured as a result of their job activities, wherever those activities take place. It’s an accepted fact that the farming business is a dangerous one for everyone involved. Historically, there have been a very high number of claims against farm owners by their workers. This is especially true when compared to non-farm businesses.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all insurance policy for farms, but most coverage includes common areas of protection for owners. Many policies encompass multiple types of farm insurance coverage, but typically offer protection for claims resulting from the use of horses, illness or injury to horses, and all variants of what are commonly called “equine liability.”
Every farm contains structures like residential houses, processing facilities, silos, barns, and equipment-storage units. Besides the obvious structural coverage, farm policies routinely protect against losses resulting from fire. Rates for fire insurance depend on many factors, including how far the farm is from roads and hydrants.
When obtaining a farm insurance quote maryland, an owner will want to adapt policy considerations to the unique aspects of the farming business. Every farm owner should discuss the details of insurance coverage with a licensed Agent.
Is equine liability coverage needed? How far is it to the nearest fire hydrant or public roadway? Does the farm employ workers, and if so, how many? Does state law require farm workers compensation coverage? Do local weather conditions imply considerable risk of crop failure? What other aspects of the farm require specialized coverage? Those are just a few of the areas that should be covered in a discussion between a farm owner and an insurance professional.
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