There are over 2 million cattle on over 11 million acres in Idaho – that’s a major investment in personal property for local farms that are juggling many expenses. Livestock insurance coverage is a key risk management tool that protects Idaho farmers and ranchers from financial losses due to animal death in certain situations. This means that if the unexpected happens, your animals are covered and you will be able to recoup losses.
Here’s what to consider when determining coverage to protect your livestock.
Types of Coverage
Farm Personal Property Coverage provides blanket coverage of livestock up to $5,000 per animal. Under this type of coverage, it is necessary to submit a comprehensive list of every animal on your farm or ranch. The list needs to include the number of animals and the value of each, it does not need to be itemized.
Livestock endorsement can be added to your policy and allows insuring individual animals up to $25,000 per animal. This endorsement allows you to itemize your livestock rather than relying on blanket coverage.
Death of livestock by collision is an additional endorsement you may want to consider if animals roam off property and are hit by a vehicle not owned by you.
Additional coverage is available to insure animals against freezing. It is only applicable if the death was caused directly by freezing, not freezing or cold temperatures compounded with illness. All animals must be over 30 days old to be eligible for this coverage.
Livestock liability is built into each Farm Bureau policy, which means if your animal causes property damage to a neighbor’s property or accidentally injures someone on your property the cost of repairing damages or reimbursement for medical bills is covered, subject to applicable exclusions and conditions.
What kind of animals does livestock insurance cover?
Some of the covered perils include:
- Fire and lightning
- Windstorm or hail
- Collision of a vehicle
- Direct attack by dogs or other wild animals such as wolves
- Accidental shooting
- Deaths caused by transport or loading or unloading (loading, unloading, collision with another object, or overturn while in transit)
Deaths caused by perils must occur within 30 days of the incident.
What livestock insurance doesn’t cover
The following are among the primary reasons for losses that fall outside the coverage of livestock insurance:
- Disease and illness
- Old age
How to file a claim
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of losing livestock to one of the covered perils, reach out to your local FBMICI agent who can walk you through the process of filing a claim.
How to decide how much coverage
When deciding how much coverage you need, a farmer or rancher should consider their tolerance for loss. A small farmer may be drastically impacted by losing even one cow and therefore may insure all its animals, whereas a large cattle ranch may decide to only insure its prized bull. Livestock Insurance is flexible and customizable to meet each individual farmer’s or rancher’s needs.
Investing in the proper farm and ranch insurance is vital when it comes to the success of your farm or ranch. To learn more, contact your local FBMICI agent.
Disclaimer: The information included here is designed for informational purposes only. It is not legal, tax, financial or any other sort of advice, nor is it a substitute for such advice. The information may not apply to your specific situation. We have tried to make sure the information is accurate, but it could be outdated or even inaccurate in parts.
Idaho State Department of Agriculture
Erin Giles, AgAdvisor, Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company