Prepare for the Risks of the Arkansas Chicken Business
Chicken is the number one source of protein in the country. American farms also produce more poultry than any other country. In addition to supplying its own citizens, American poultry farms feed the citizens of Mexico, Canada, and Hong Kong. And Arkansas is one of the top producers of American poultry, with poultry farms in 53 of the state’s 75 counties.
In fact, in 2014, poultry was the largest agricultural product produced in Arkansas. This accounts for 46.5 percent of cash ag receipts and supporting 120,000 jobs. In other words, poultry is big business, and like any big business, it comes with big risks. Whether you operate a small family farm or a big corporate farm, fully insuring your poultry farm is crucial to mitigating that risk.
Some policies may only cover structures, while other policies may only cover equipment. And homeowners policies won’t cover farming equipment, if farming is your key source of income. Items used on the farm—even general items, such as tools, ladders, and power-washers—are considered farm property and need to be itemized under a farm insurance policy.
What To Ask About Poultry Farm Insurance
When speaking with an agent about insuring your poultry farm, make sure you discuss the following coverage areas:
Did ice and snow cause the roof of one of your buildings to cave? Or did a severe windstorm or tornado cause damage to one or several farm structures? Make sure your policy will cover the cost of repairs. Also, if your farm is in a flood zone, you may need additional flood insurance.
Loss of Income
Did damage, injury, market prices, an epidemic among your birds, loss of your workforce, or some other unforeseen circumstance cause you to lose income this year? Ask your agent if your policy will help fill in the gaps.
First, you need to carry enough insurance to be able to replace all of the critical structures and equipment on your farm. Make sure to ask your agent to outline under which specific circumstances this insurance will kick in. If key equipment suddenly starts malfunctioning, will your policy cover it? What about if a fire destroys your property? Ask specifically about wind damage, since this is a big deal in Arkansas, and not every policy covers it.
Will your policy help you replace equipment or animals in the event of theft?
This not legally required on Arkansas chicken farms, but it’s a good idea to carry it anyway.
Employee liability is recommended, and general liability is a must. General liability will cover you against personal injury and property damage that occurs on the farm. It can also help cover you in the event of lawsuits alleging injuries or damage (including pollution or animal cruelty claims) suffered by others. In some cases, the state or county government may also consider you liable for pollution events that occur both on and off your property.
Are you a poultry farmer looking for quality insurance coverage? Contact one of our agents.