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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Mandatory Fire Insurance?

I`m against just about everything "check off" and "mandatory", I will make an exception with crop fire insurance.  For a few pennies of check off on each bushel we could have insurance that would take away the farmer`s liability if a unthinkable fire started from a combine bearing and wiped out a whole township. I carry my own fire insurance, but Lord only knows how many neighbors do and houses could be affected as well, many million$$ gone because of one $30 bearing. I`m not harvesting today, it just isn`t worth it, neither are the neighbors, but in a couple more days with no rain there will be one crazy fool that will venture out and the rest of us will follow like lemmings.  I don`t know what a farmer`s responsiblity would be if the neighborhood went up in smoke, I sure don`t want to find out. We have a check off to hire guys in suits to go to China and sell our corn, which may or may not do us any good.  It would only make sense to have a insurance check off to upgrade fire departments and relieve farm liability. BTW I don`t think a mandatory insurance should give a farmer license to do stupid things like harvest in 60 mph wind in the middle of a dought. 

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5 Replies
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Mandatory Fire Insurance?

Our county here in NC has what is called " fire service districts.". While they do not provide insurance coverage, they do fund the local VFDs. The maximum levy is 5 cents per hundred dollars of ad valorem assessed property, real and personal. Our annual payment is several hundred, probably getting close to a thousand...I honestly try not to think about it!

Other than that, we carry typical farmownerdps coverage, plus $2 million general,liability " umbreall" policy. Premiums for those two are $10-11K per year.
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farmandfire
Veteran Contributor

Re: Mandatory Fire Insurance?

Your liability policy should cover a out of control fire. If not I would be looking for a different company. We have had our fair share of fires in our area lately, both accidental and arson. The problem that we are running into is after all the dry weather this summer the corn plants started to cannibalize themselves and now are starting to drop ears on the ground. The winds have been brutal this week in NC Iowa. We take breaks during the heat of the day when the thermals are pushing high winds. Keep going when we start to get some humidity recovery. I can say that for us at least, it has been comforting knowing that I have fire equipment from our prescribed fire business at the end of the field "just in case". 

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Mandatory Fire Insurance?

Yes, corn conditions aren`t going to improve, hopefully we could gett a nice drizzle over a week or two.  When you see those heavy winds carrying leaves over roads, you just get the idea the whole county could go up. A $5 million umbrella policy should perhaps be raised with each crop acre being worth $1,000 and a few homes downwind.  It`s relatively clam now, if a guy has a 1500 gal tender tank and a disc handy it might be all right.  Harvest around the field first and disc the stalks down.  Good Luck.    

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Mandatory Fire Insurance?

I'm opposed to mandatory fire insurance in principle.  If one is worried about it, one can carry the policy themselves.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Mandatory Fire Insurance?

Actually, all a farmer could do is beef up his liability, which is not " fire insurance" in the typical way we think of it. You can only insure your own property against loss...you must have an " insurable interest".
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