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Nationwide News: Ask for annual farm insurance review before disaster strikes

Published Apr. 19, 2010 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Buckeye Farm News

The heavy snowfall that hit eastern states in February, or “Snowmageddon” as some called it, served as a reminder to many farmers that it’s a good policy to review farm insurance coverages on a regular basis.

A number of farmers who had not asked their insurance agent for a policy review lately found their insurance lacking the right coverages or the coverage amounts needed to pay for recent storm damages. The collapse of dozens of poultry buildings in Maryland and Virginia showed the need for proper coverages.

“Poultry houses may not always be built to withstand the unusually heavy snow loads brought by the severe storms we had this winter,” said Jerry Hillard, director of farm insurance sales for Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance. “With the generally flat or low sloping roofs of these buildings, snow accumulated quickly and produced an extremely heavy load.” That caused many poultry buildings to collapse, Hillard said.

Of course, during or after the storm, it’s too late to make changes in your insurance to cover damages from a current or recent event. That’s why it’s important to ask your agent to review your coverage, including building and equipment values, on a regular basis. An annual review is best, Hillard said.

“Nationwide Ag’s On Your Side farm certified agents are encouraged to meet annually for a renewal review with their customers,” he said. With the agent’s assistance, Nationwide Ag allows farmers to select the “causes of loss” for which they wish to be protected.

“When you meet with your agent to review your farm policy, you should definitely ask your agent to explain what causes of loss you’re insured for,” Hillard said.

Not all policies cover collapse and not all policies cover damage resulting from the weight of ice and snow accumulation. “You’ll want to review this with your agent,” Hillard advised. “No one wants to be surprised after a catastrophe to learn that there was no coverage in place.”

He said customers of Nationwide Ag can select a variety of farm coverages and coverage amounts.

“It’s also important to ask your agent to review the values placed on your insured structures,” Hillard added. “Some people try to save money by paying a lower premium to insure a farm building at less than its true value, only to regret that decision if a loss occurs that exceeds the amount of insurance coverage on the building,” he said.

For more information about farm insurance coverages and insuring farm property to proper value, contact a local Nationwide agent, or visit FarmAgentFinder.com.



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