Most farms carry some kind of insurance against fire-related losses—or they at least think they do. The problem is that the policies that protect agricultural policyholders can be very different depending on the circumstances, even when the agricultural operations affected seem very similar on the surface. This is because:
- Farm coverage may be a mix of home and business policies. Unlike most other businesses, farms may need to be prepared for commercial losses and damages to a family home or residence on the property. Fire coverage, in particular, can be complicated because separate policies and coverage for specific property losses may be necessary to fill gaps.
- Different farms have different needs. The insurance needs and industry risks for a small horse ranch are very different from those involved in a large-scale grain operation or a vineyard that welcomes tourists. Fire insurance policies for farms reflect these kinds of differences in coverage needs.
- Different insurance companies offer different options. Depending on the type of policies chosen and the company providing coverage, even very similar-sounding fire policies can involve coverage surprises and differences in interpretation.
Aside from these variances from farm to farm, there can also be surprises for policyholders who haven’t checked up on their coverage in a while or assumed certain losses were covered under their general policies. Farms often change over time, and the policies that protect them may already be very complex. It’s not unusual for policyholders to assume that their fire claims will have a similar outcome to past claims for losses or similar claims from neighbors—when nothing could be further from the truth.
Take the time today to get informed about maximizing your recovery after a farm fire. You can learn more about negotiating insurance claims after agricultural losses by reading our free book, Understanding Agricultural Insurance Claims.