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Updating Farm Insurance Coverage

Insurance is one of those things you hope you never have to use, but it’s good to know it’s there if you need it. When was the last time you looked at your policies and made updates? There is so much investment in a farm, sometimes you forget to make sure it’s properly insured.

Kelvin Leibold is an extension farm and agriculture business management specialist at Iowa State University. He says any time there are major changes in your operation, assets, inventory and vehicles you should update the policies. And don’t forget the little stuff, either.

"You’ve got a shop out there, you’ve got your office in it. You’ve got a laptop in it, you’ve got a copy machine in it, you’ve got an LCD TV in it. You keep adding more pieces of this and that and yeah if you lost one of them it wouldn’t be a big deal at all because a lot technology gets obsolete fairly fast," he says. "But if you had a shop fire and the whole complex was destroyed, that might be an issue for some people."

On the flip side, maybe there are some things that don’t need to be insured anymore. He says to look at the items on your depreciation schedule and see how it compares to your insurance inventory sheet.

"If I’ve got old barns, old bins, do I really need to have them insured? Often times we’ll go in on an estate and I’ll sit with the widow and say, you know you had your barn insured for $20,000. If that barn burned down tomorrow, would we even replace it? Well no. That machine shed, if it blew away, would we replace it? No. So, often times we can pare things down and save ourselves some dollars that way," says Potter.

The most valuable asset on your farm is you. Take care of yourself by reviewing your own risk and coverage.

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