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The following information is provided by Nationwide, the No. 1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.¹

Every piece of ag land is different.

And in a skyrocketing farmland market, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re protected from the many liabilities that come from farmland ownership.

Learn about your land

If you’re a first-time landowner, that process starts with getting familiar with your land. A clear picture of what is raised on or supported by your farmland is the first step in identifying the liabilities you may face as a landowner. Consider the following in that process:

  • What happens on your farmland? Consider the primary work that happens on your land, such as crop or livestock production. Identifying the primary working purpose of your land can clarify the specific hazards for which you should seek insurance protection.
  • What are the farmland operations, features or other variables that put you at risk? Ag operations such as spraying weeds on crop fields, maintaining fencing or grazing cattle on pastures can open the door to liability on your farmland. And any commercial businesses — such as a produce stand, for example — on your owned farmland carry with them specific liability risks. Also consider activities such as hunting, as they could potentially bring visitors onto your land and create liability. Having a strong relationship with your leasing farmer or rancher can help with this effort.
  • What level of coverage do you need? Do you need additional options? Farmland values are surging, and it’s important to first ensure that you have the right coverage levels in place to cover any potential losses. Given the diverse potential for liabilities on farmland, you’ll also want to match specific policy options and endorsements to the work and any other activities that take place on your land.
  • What are your long-term financial plans for your land? Farmland is often a financial component of a larger portfolio, such as an estate or trust. Given the financial implications to such long-term financial planning, consider how to protect your farmland assets, especially if they’re intended to go to an heir as part of a succession plan.

“How you use the land determines the specific liabilities you are exposed to. As a new farmland owner, think about how you plan to use the land today and in the future,” said Nationwide Senior Consultant Erin Cumings. “Any activities that take place on that land create exposure and the type of activity and exposure can vary significantly.”

Enlist the right help to find the right liability protection

NationwideOnce you’ve discussed these working details about your farmland, you’re armed with the right information to help select insurance coverage to protect you from potential liabilities. In many cases, a simple endorsement on a homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t provide adequate coverage. It’s best to discuss your options with someone who not only knows your land well, but also your specific insurance coverage options, whether they’re endorsements or entirely new policies.

“Connecting with the previous owner or other local farmers can help you paint a picture of the history of the land and provide information that may help you make a decision about the future use of the land,” Cumings said. “A Certified Farm Agent can help match your insurance coverage to the activities on your land, just be sure to let them know if the activities change over time.”

Your long-term plan for your farmland also contributes to how you insure for potential liabilities. If your land is an asset in a succession plan or other long-term financial agreement, for example, you may seek different coverage options than if it’s simply to generate annual income from rent payments or the crops or livestock it supports.

Your local Nationwide Farm Certified agent or financial advisor can help you adequately account for those types of variables in finding the right liability protection. Nationwide Land As Your Legacy can also help you protect your farmland investment through legacy planning.

[1] *A.M. Best Market Share Report 2023. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2024 Nationwide.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
The plan we are on is great. It’s comparable to my previous job's plan, and we are a sole proprietor.
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Kevin Holy

Geauga County Farm Bureau

Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
We work terrifically with the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, hosting at least one to two outreach town hall events every year to educate new farmers and existing farmers on traditional CAUV and woodlands.
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David Thomas

Ashtabula County Auditor

CAUV: Past, present and future
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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