When you’re in the business of farming, particularly livestock, there is a lot to consider. With livestock insurance representing a significant part of the global agricultural premium, these considerations include risks, which is what most insurance companies look at when you’re managing a farm. Producers and farm owners should always carefully consider how a policy will work in conjunction with their other risk management strategies if they want the best possible outcome. However, it all boils down to knowing all these problems associated with livestock farming. Here are the top three risks in livestock farming that could affect your insurance policy coverage.
Knowing Your Weak Points
In a farming operation, bigger doesn’t always mean it’s better. The more equipment and product involved, the higher the potential losses can be. However, the following risks are some of the problems that any farm could have regardless of the size of their farm operations.
By its very nature, farms are at high risk for fire. From the hay and straw to the dust and barn materials used, all of these when combined is quite a big risk when there’s fire around. These flammable materials can also add up quickly in the form of feed, animal bedding, and other related debris. All it takes is a single spark or heat source to light them all up, very much like:
- Rodents chewing through unprotected wiring, which can cause short circuits or a spark
- Overheating appliances or equipment like portable electric heaters
- Ruptured or leaking fuel tanks
- Spontaneous combustion of hay
Farmers need to be mindful of where they place heat sources in and around the barn. They also need to regularly clean and maintain all their equipment to avoid overheating and malfunctions that could eventually lead to a fire starting.
Speaking of malfunctioning equipment, power failures and malfunctions happen quite often to farms especially if they’re dealing with a huge operation. Faulty equipment and power failures are at the heart of many major farm losses. For example, dairy farms rely on milk storage tanks to house and preserve their product. So, getting a power failure could result in thousands of dollars being lost due to spoilage. In fact, product spoilage has been a major concern for both dairy and poultry farms, especially during summer as their electricity usage rises.
Poultry farms, for example, require a working ventilation system to maintain a healthy operation. When the ventilation system fails in the middle of a hot summer day, the entire enclosure can heat up quickly, resulting in heat stress that could potentially kill livestock.
Building Damage or Collapse
Barns are built to last for years as they cultivate and grow their livestock in it for several cycles. However, poor maintenance and general wear and tear could easily jeopardize the structure of the barn. For example, roofing is one common weak point that could be the cause of a failing roof or even a building collapse. As far as the barn goes, the roof is the most exposed part to the elements, which makes it a priority to maintain.
On the other hand, dairy farms use dozens of pipes for water and milk throughout their facility, which carries the risk of water damage. Broken and leaking pipes could set back their operation a significant amount of time and could also cost a lot of money.
Running a farm demands attention as it carries a lot of risks that could make it impossible for them to get the right insurance for their farming needs. By knowing these risks, you can put all the necessary measures in place to protect your assets and hopefully get the right insurance coverage.
Direct Line Insurance is a thriving insurance brokerage that creates personal connections with customers so they can achieve their financial and life goals. We’re not like other insurance companies and brokerages since we employ a more customer-focused approach especially to farmers who worry about their farmer’s insurance claims. Let us help you with all your insurance needs. Contact us today to get a quote.