Drone technology use in agriculture is an ever-growing business, but until recently the drones themselves weren’t always easy for all ag businesses to insure.
“We were approached by a seed company about property and liability coverage for drones used by seed dealers,” said Erin Cumings, Nationwide associate vice president, agribusiness underwriting. “At the time, we didn’t regularly offer coverage.”
Large-scale commercial ag businesses, such as cooperatives, have been insured by Nationwide for several years, but that coverage did not specifically include seed dealers.
That changed as Nationwide moved swiftly to find ways to offer the coverage to those customers.
Through a pilot program launched July 1 in six states, including Ohio, Nationwide is now offering both property and liability drone coverage to seed dealers, Cumings said.
“Many seed dealers also have an agronomy business,” she said. Drones help them evaluate how well their seeds are doing in the field and can pinpoint areas of concern. However, if something goes wrong with, say, the controls and a drone crashes to the ground, the property coverage will cover it, Cumings said. If the falling drone happens to hit a car on its way down that would now be covered by the liability insurance for seed dealers.
Cumings said the coverage is available through the AgriChoice Plus program for ag businesses. It can be added on to an existing Nationwide insurance package, or it can be purchased separately as its own coverage.
“I’m excited that we get to offer this as a standalone product,” said Cumings, who noted that the standalone product is a new offering from Nationwide.
Seed dealers interested in the drone insurance who already have Nationwide policies should contact their Nationwide agent for information. Those interested who are not currently Nationwide customers can contact a Nationwide Elite Agent in their area for more information.
Find an elite agent at farmagentfinder.com.
“We’re introducing farmer drone coverage this summer,” Cumings said. Ohio farmers can already insure their drones for liability, but the property coverage will be available Aug. 15, she said.