Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Farming is one of Canada’s most dangerous occupations, and farmers face unique challenges in terms of liability as well as property protection. That’s why farm insurance is an important part of farmers’ business and safety plans.
The potential hazards associated with working in the agriculture industry are widespread. They range from accidents (tractor rollovers, run-overs and collisions, for example) to injuries and fatalities (caused by machinery, animals or unsafe work practices) to respiratory ailments (triggered by pesticides, fertilizers, hay, dust, grasses or other allergens). Inclement weather, such as hailstorms, can cause damage as well, to crops, livestock and machinery. In addition to damage to property or persons, each of these hazards can also bring about financial devastation caused by a loss of, or reduction in, productivity.
When shopping for farm insurance, it’s important to identify a provider with specialized knowledge of the farming industry and an understanding of the complexity of your needs. Your insurance representative should be able to help you assess your needs, appraise your equipment and develop a customized policy that protects you in case of accidents, storm damage, injuries and fatalities. He or she should also conduct an annual review of your policy to ensure it accommodates any changes to your situation – equipment purchases or the addition of new core crops, for example.
Depending on policy coverages, farm insurance can protect your:
- Employees (liability, disability and death benefits)
- Crops (hail insurance)
In addition to carrying adequate insurance coverage, farmers need to remain diligent about farm safety, another important element of risk management. Investments in training (safety and first aid), protective equipment and equipment maintenance deliver a high return on investment, as their benefits far outweigh their costs.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) offer information and safety resources to help farm owners develop comprehensive workplace safety plans.
Sources: Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA), Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA)