TXINS August E-News: Is Your Farm Insured for Success?, Ask the Agent, Agency Happenings, Texas Trivia Contest, Meet Celeste Clark, and More!

Is Your Farm Insured for Success?

Operating a farm can be a dream come true. Living as a farmer takes many hours and a major financial commitment. Natural disasters, crop failure, and sick livestock can threaten a farmer’s livelihood. The key to a successful farming venture is identifying risks and planning for the worst case scenario with a well drawn out risk management plan and sufficient insurance coverage. You can use best practices, hire the right workers, and buy the safest equipment possible, but accidents still happen. Do you have enough property and liability insurance if your barn roof collapses? What about disability insurance for workers who might get injured on a combine? Insuring your crops is also crucial if you’re a crop farmer, because a bad year could bankrupt you without the proper insurance.

What Is Farm Insurance?
The U.S. has millions of farms. Some are large agribusinesses and others are small farms that have been handed down from generation to generation. Every type of farm can benefit from farm insurance, although the coverage limits and some of the risk protections may be different.

A sound farm insurance policy will cover you in three main areas: Home or dwelling and contents coverage, farm property and operations coverage, and liability coverage.

Protect Your Home and Personal Property
As a general rule, most farm insurance polices will provide the following coverages:

  • Dwelling or home protections:
    • Covers your home in the event of major perils, such as windstorms, hail, lightening and fires
    • Covers accidents, such as a vehicle damaging your home, theft or vandalism
    • Covers personal belongings in the home
  • Farm liability protection:
    • Protects you from losing your farm due to liability issues
    • Covers bodily injury to another person, medical payments associated with a third party’s injury and damage to other people’s property
    • Provides for legal defense and payment of claims for which you are legally responsible

Barn Insurance and Other Outbuilding Coverage
Farm polices can be designed to also insure outbuildings separate from your dwelling. These include barns, sheds, garages and other structures that store your equipment or livestock. Normally, these are covered against the same perils as your home.

How Do I Cover My Livestock and Crops?
Livestock and crops make up a crucial part of your farm. In many cases, the production of livestock and crops is a farmer’s main source of revenue. Most farm coverages provide protections for your animals. You can choose blanket coverage up to a specified coverage amount, or you can make a schedule of the individual high value animals you want to cover in the event of death. You can also have a combination of blanket and specific coverage. Covered losses include death by accidents and other events, but do not cover sickness and disease.

To obtain coverage for animals that pass away due to sickness or disease, you will need to carry animal mortality insurance. This insurance is available as blanket or schedule, and primarily covers high-value cattle and horses. You may find some specialty coverages for other animals as well.

Crop insurance protects you if you have a crop loss due to an unavoidable natural disaster, weather event, or spread of disease. You can also protect your crop prices from commodity market price volatility and cover specific crops with a crop insurance policy.

Covering Your Farm Equipment
In addition to your livestock, most farm policies will cover your farm equipment, supplies and other machinery. This includes items like combines, irrigation systems and feed.

As with your animals, you can cover the whole of the equipment under a blanket policy at a certain dollar limit or list the separate high cost items you want to cover on a scheduled policy. You can also utilize both types of coverage, which can be especially helpful if you have a very large operation and lots of equipment that needs protection from loss.  An independent agent can explain your options and help you compare different policies to build an insurance plan that works for your farm.

Start Protecting Your Farm Today
As you can see, the proper farm insurance coverage is a complex mix of risk protections. As your farm grows or takes on new crops or livestock, it can become an even more intricate challenge to cover.

That’s why it is a good idea to work with an insurance agent who is independent and knowledgeable. You may also want to work closely with an attorney who can help you valuate your farm and make decisions about liability coverage and other risks you face. An accountant is also a good person to consult with, as these professionals can help you understand your budgeting options, the measure of your assets, and how to best structure your insurance coverage to keep your farm going for years to come. With a great agent, accountant, and lawyer on your team, you can find an insurance solution that best meets your needs.

We Are Here for You 

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is your trusted advocate. As an independent insurance agency, TXINS represents a wide network of A-rated insurance companies, which allows us to find the best insurance policy to fit your needs and budget. We don’t believe in cookie cutter policies and will customize a plan specifically for you. Your overall satisfaction is our top priority. That’s a promise.

TXINS offers complimentary insurance reviews to ensure you are getting the right coverage for yourself, your family, or your business. To schedule your review, contact us today at 800-541-9849 or via email. Together, we will ensure you are protecting what matters most.

Meet the TXINS Team
Celeste Clark
Celeste Clark joined the TXINS team a little more than a year ago and was a perfect fit with the Personal Lines team. Her sweet personality and smile puts her clients at ease and her coworkers say she is a joy to work with. Her positive attitude is always encouraging and we all look forward to seeing her daily inspirational quotes in the breakroom notice board. We are so thrilled to have Celeste as part of our TXINS family!

To learn more about Celeste, please click here.

The employees of TXINS are active members in our communities. Here’s a quick list of what we’ve been up to as well as what we have planned for the month.

  • Al Ford, Russ Taylor, and Marilynn Sorrel will be at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center in Dallas August 13-15 attending the Texas Nursery Landscape Dissociation Expo. Swing by  Booth #2115 to visit with our agents and win a chance at $50! For more info, visit the TNLA website at http://txnla.org/events/nursery_landscape_expo.
  • Congrats to our July Texas Pride Trivia Contest winners: Rhonda Anderson, Nancy Valentine, and Allen Shimek. Don’t miss your chance to win a Texas flag…check out the trivia question below!
  • Our sister company, Traditions Insurance Services, Inc., has redesigned their website! Check out our new, fresh look and let us know what you think.

My son will be joining the FFA this coming school year. He’s asked to raise a steer for his livestock project. No one in our family has ever raised an aniaml before. Any advice on the best way to start this endeavor? – Phillip J., Sealy, TX

Dear Phillip:

Kudos to your son for wanting to join the FFA! This organization provides tremendous opportunities for personal growth, development of leadership qualities, and stresses the importance of responsibility and commitment. Plus, it’s lots of fun!

Raising an animal of any kind takes work, patience, and dedication. It’s important to sit down as a family and fully talk through everything that it is going to take to do this. The steer will need to be fed and watered everyday, vaccinations and medial treatment must be administered on a regular basis, and it will need to be trained for the show ring. Basically, your son will be spending a lot of time working with his steer. If he (or you) are not able to make this time commitment, it might be best choosing a project less time consuming. But if you’re up for the challenge, then go for it!

First, make sure the steer has a clean, comfortable place to live. There should be good air circulation to prevent airborne diseases and keep him cool and dry. Make sure there is a place for him to get out of the elements. Weather in Texas can be tricky. Be prepared for anything!

Second, here are some tips on feeding:

  • Calves typically eat up to 3% of body weight in feed each day.
  • Feed at the same time each morning and night.
  • Clear uneaten feed from feed trough before feeding.
  • Avoid dusty, moldy, spoiled feed.
  • Start calves on a small amount of grain and increase amounts gradually.
  • Feed a clean, high quality grass hay. Provide as much hay as he will eat and still clean up his grain.
  • Protein content should be between 10.5 and 12 percent.
  • Make ration changes slowly over a week or two
  • Provide clean, fresh water at all times.

Third, make sure you contact your TXINS agent and secure livestock mortality insurance. Having this insurance in place is an extra financial safety net in case the animal succumbs to sickness, accidents, or disease. Raising an animal, especially a steer, is an expensive undertaking. Should something happen to the animal, having the right insurance policy in place, can safeguard you financially against a total loss. There are many different types of livestock insurance available so be sure to contact your TXINS agent to find out what best fits your situation.

We wish your son luck with his project! Keep us updated on his progress!

Do you have a question for our agents? Email it to us! If we choose your question, we’ll send you a thank you gift! Be sure to include your mailing address and phone number in your email.

You Learn Something New Every Day
– August is the month with the highest percentage of births. Happy birthday to all August babies!

– The most commonly used letter in the alphabet is E. The least commonly used letter is Q. Good info to know if you’re ever a contestant on Wheel of Fortune!

– A person burns more calories sleeping than watching TV. So make sure you get plenty of sleep each night to stay healthy.

– August 20 is National Lemonade Day. Lemonade is the perfect way to sit back and enjoy a summer day. For nine delicious lemonade recipes, click here.

Traditions Insurance Website Upgrade
We are excited to announce that Traditions Insurance Servcies, Inc.has a brand new website! We’ve made the site more user-friendly, easier to navigate, and included all of the information needed to make smart crop insurance choices.

Traditions Insurance Services, Inc. offers a full range of Crop, Nursery, Livestock Risk Protection, and PRF/Drought insurance products. We focus on providing exceptional customer service and customizing policies specific to each customer’s unique needs and business.

Check out the site today and let us know what you think!

We LOVE Referrals!

Congrats to David Price of El Campo, TX, our July Referral Program drawing winner! Thanks for your referrals David! Good luck in our end of the year drawing happening in December!

If you love Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., tell a relative, friend, or co-worker about us. When they call to receive a quote make sure they let us know that you referred them.

As a thank you, you’ll receive a surprise gift and will be entered into our monthly $50 gift card drawing and our annual Grand Prize drawing for a $1,500 gift card!!!

(Grand Prize drawing will be held on December 3, 2015.)

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