Small Farms Demand Special Insurance

A growing number of rural residents are making the most of country living by planting more than just a four-bedroom home on their acreage.

They may be raising some crops in addition to kids or grandkids. Along with a Mustang in the garage, they may have a few horses in the barn, a tractor to help with chores and additional livestock in the “back 40.”

These smaller-scale farmers may not expect their operations to produce a terrific return on investment. But their lifestyle choice is a just reward for spending most of their work life in the office.

And while their exposure to risk may be more limited than large-scale farmers, it can be considerably more than a suburban homeowner.

“It’s surprising how many small-acreage residents try to make do with a regular home insurance policy, even though they have out-buildings, horses, livestock or a farm business,” said Jerry Hillard, director of farm owner insurance for Nationwide Agribusiness.

Hillard said provisions in a home insurance policy are not meant to cover the expanded exposures to risk faced by people who own property with farming activities. On the other hand, he said, many standard farm policies may go beyond what is needed for insurance coverage on a small farm.

“Most smaller-acreage farms don’t have the extent of equipment and machinery found on larger farms,” he said.

This growing niche of smaller farms has created demand for a specialized insurance package – one that provides the right amount of coverages and options. Hillard said Nationwide Ag’s small-farm policy, called CountryChoice, addresses the needs of this unique property owner group.

“This small-farm policy provides many of the same broader coverages available in policies for larger farms, but can eliminate the need to purchase certain coverages that may be unneeded, such as those related to equipment and machinery,” Hillard said.

“CountryChoice includes an endorsement exclusively for members of Ohio Farm Bureau that provides higher limits of coverage at no additional cost, as well as coverage for identity theft and lock replacements,” Hillard said.

Nationwide also provides a 10 percent discount on farm insurance rates for Ohio Farm Bureau members, automatic construction cost adjustments to ensure adequate insurance amounts and expanded pollution liability and clean-up coverages, he said.

For more information about Nationwide Ag coverages for all sizes of farms, contact a Nationwide Insurance agent, or visit

Ohio Farm Bureau is a sponsor of Nationwide, and endorses Nationwide policies, many of which are discounted for members of Ohio Farm Bureau. Please ask a nearby agent for more details, or visit

While exposure to risk may be more limited than large-scale farmers, it can be considerably more than a suburban homeowner.