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What is Livestock Insurance?

Even the most experienced and well-run livestock operations can face times of uncertainty, and buying the right type of livestock insurance can ensure the smooth running of your farm in unexpected circumstances.

Whether you are a ranch, farm, or any other type of business that houses, breeds, or raises livestock, you face the risk of losing real money should your animals sustain an injury or die because of a disease or accident. Buying livestock insurance can provide you with essential protection in the event of such a loss.

What is a livestock policy?

Livestock and cattle insurance is a type of coverage that protects you from unexpected events that lead to either death or disease. Regardless of whether your livestock is at a ranch, in transit, or at the farm, your livestock is your personal property. A livestock policy can help to cover the costs of putting things right should a covered event or loss occur.

What are the different types of livestock insurance?

There are many types of livestock insurance policies to buy, and the specific coverage you will need can be determined by the purpose and type of livestock you own.

Farm Policy for Livestock

Most small or medium-sized ranches and farms will cover their livestock under their farm policy. This is typically a combination of a homeowner insurance policy and a commercial insurance package. It could include coverage for the stables, barn, and other such structures on the farm, along with farm/personal property, such as the farm dwelling, machinery, grain, and hay. In this case, any livestock will be covered as part of the farm’s personal property.

Depending on the value of the livestock, it may be covered as a herd or individually. In this type of policy, birds (inc. chickens) are not covered under the umbrella term of livestock, as they will typically be classed as poultry.  It is important to note that a farm policy will not usually cover your livestock while in transit or when it is at a sale or other type of public stockyard. It only applies to livestock while they are on or away from the insured farm location.

The majority of farm policies will cover any damage, death, or physical loss to livestock due to covered events only. Make sure you discuss the covered perils before you buy livestock insurance with a commercial insurance agent.

Animal Mortality Coverage

This type of livestock insurance can be purchased as part of a farm policy package or as a standalone policy. It is available as limited animal mortality coverage or full animal mortality.

Livestock Risk Protection Coverage

This is especially relevant for producers and offers a way to safeguard a business against decreasing livestock prices. This is government-backed insurance that will pay the insured entity in the event of a national or regional crash, that sees the price index fall under a specified level. This is only usually applicable to cattle, swine, and/or lambs.

Livestock Liability Coverage

With most types of livestock insurance, you will also get coverage for liability. In the event you are found to responsible for an animal causing property damage or bodily injury to others’ or their property, then you will have a pre-set amount of liability coverage in place.

Buying umbrella insurance for your farm or ranch can give you an extra level of protection financially in the event of a lawsuit. Talk to an expert commercial livestock insurance agent about buying this coverage for your farm.

What does livestock insurance cover?

As with most types of commercial insurance, you can tailor a livestock insurance quote to include specific endorsements to ensure it meets the needs of your individual operation. There are typically two types of livestock coverage you will need to choose from.

  1. Scheduled Coverage

If you choose to buy scheduled livestock insurance, you can select the individual livestock you want to insure, and you can determine the amount of coverage for each. This highly customizable livestock insurance can ensure you have the correct limits in place for any high-value livestock.

  1. Unscheduled Coverage

Also referred to as ‘blanket’ livestock insurance, this provides coverage for all of your farm’s personal property under a single total policy limit.

What is a covered loss on a livestock insurance policy?

While each individual livestock insurance provider might differ slightly, here are the most common losses that are covered by livestock insurance.

  • Weather: Lightning, flooding, hail, and wind.
  • Accidents: Electrocution, smoke, loading and unloading, and explosions.
  • Collisions or death during transportation: limits are usually applied to animal values.
  • Natural Disasters: Sinkholes, volcanic eruption.
  • Crimes and/or civil unrest: Vandalism and theft

You will usually be able to add an endorsement onto a livestock insurance policy to cover additional perils, such as Drowning, accidental shooting, animal attacks, building collapses, and more.

Buying livestock insurance will not cover you from losses that result from a death of natural causes or old age; speak with a commercial livestock insurance expert if you want to know about insurance for these events.

Who should buy livestock insurance?

If you are a business that breeds, raises or houses livestock, and you would lose money if the animals you tend to were to die, then you should think about buying livestock insurance. It is usually available to cover cattle, pigs, sheep, and horses, but it can be extended to include other more exotic or high-value animals as well.

What animals can be covered by a livestock policy

In most cases, livestock insurance is aimed at covering domesticated animals, but it can be extended to cover more upon request. Here is a list of animals that livestock insurance could protect.

  • Sheep
  • Cattle
  • Chickens
  • Goats
  • Pigs
  • Buffalo
  • Horses
  • Deer
  • Alpaca
  • Ostrich
  • Emu
  • Elk

Buying livestock insurance at the right level, that suits both your present and future needs should always involve a discussion with an expert commercial insurance agent first. If you need a quote, then speak directly to a livestock insurance expert today for a tailored livestock insurance price. Get guidance on the best type of coverage to buy for your individual business needs, and your livestock insurance questions answered quickly.

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