What Coverage should I Get for my Livestock?

A woman in a turquoise shirt holds up a chicken beside the words "Livestock Insurance"

Having the right coverage is important for every home and business. If you decide to raise livestock – whether for personal or commercial purposes – it’s important that this livestock is insured. After all, getting livestock is a large investment, and there is a wide range of problems that may occur with these animals. If you’re getting livestock for the first time, here are some livestock insurance options that are important for you to consider:

Coverage for Natural Disasters

Mother nature has a mind of her own. You can’t predict natural disasters, which is why it’s so important to get your animals covered against injuries or death caused by natural disasters. The type of coverage varies by policy, but here are some of the disasters that you may be able to get your animals insured against:

  • Floods

  • Earthquakes

  • Lightning strikes

  • Windstorms

  • Hail

  • Drowning

Accident Coverage

Let’s face it – people aren’t perfect; neither are animals. Your livestock can easily get injured or killed by accidents caused by themselves, a human, or another animal. Such incidents include:

  • Fires and Explosions. Fires can get started by a number of small things – a stray cigarette, a knocked over candle, a can of gasoline that catches a spark. Some coverages will insure you against these accidents.

  • Electrocution. Many animals are dim-witted, and certain ones – such as goats – are incredibly stubborn. You may be able to get covered for electrocution caused by a determined animal or someone who turns up the electricity too high on the electric fence.

  • Vehicle Collision. Vehicles are the cause of a large number of livestock deaths. If an animal runs in front of your tractor or truck, you may end up striking it. If an animal escapes and wanders onto the highway, another driver may end up accidentally hitting it.

  • Accidental Shootings. Believe it or not, livestock often fall victim to stray bullets. For example, a neighboring farmer may miss a target, or nearby hunters may accidentally hit your animal instead of the deer they were aiming for.

  • Attacks by Wild Animals. Wolves, coyotes, and other predators may find their way into your chicken coop for some easy dinner. This and other kinds of animal attacks can be covered by livestock insurance.

Theft Protection

Instead of working to buy and raise their own livestock, someone may choose to take yours. Most insurance will cover you in case this happens.

Livestock Mortality Coverage

Some of the above protections may only cover injuries – not death. Furthermore, accident coverage doesn’t generally cover deaths caused by natural causes. If your animal dies from an illness, disease, or an accident, livestock mortality insurance will protect you.

Livestock Gross Margin and Risk Protection

Certain insurance companies offer the federal insurance programs known as Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) and Livestock Risk Protection (LRP). LGM is designed to help you maintain profits if the cost to feed your livestock rises above the value of the livestock itself. LRP protects you if your livestock’s market price drops lower than it was when you first bought the animals.

Options for These Kinds of Coverages

You have a few more options after deciding which of the above protections you want for your livestock. One is whether you want individual coverage, blanket coverage, or herd coverage.

  • Individual coverage: This option means that you’re insuring each animal individually. It’s a good option if you have a small amount of livestock or each type varies widely in value.

  • Blanket coverage: Blanket policies covers all of your farm property. They cover livestock, farm equipment, and buildings together.

  • Herd coverage: You can also choose to insure each kind of animal individually. For example, if you have chickens, cows, and sheep, they will be insured under three different policies.

These are just a few of the elements that you must consider when getting livestock insurance. If you still have questions or are ready to get your livestock insured, contact Schertz Insurance.