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Livestock & Cattle Insurance

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Whether you run a ranch or a dairy farm,  you never want to experience seeing livestock contracting a disease or seeing your own farm failing to meet  health and safety protocols. 

Uncontrollable factors play a role in the success of your livestock business and knowing this can be stressful. 

However, you can help negate some of that stress by investing in the right insurance policies. In this guide, we’re going to look at everything you should know about livestock and cattle insurance.

What Is Cattle Insurance and Livestock Insurance?

Cattle insurance and livestock insurance pertain to numerous policies that protect those who make money by raising cows, pigs, sheep, goats, donkeys, horses, and other similar  animals for a living. 

Some say both are the same. However, we strongly say that isn’t the case. Livestock and cattle insurance have very different terms determining the conditions when the policyholder can successfully file a claim. 

The easiest way to distinguish cattle and livestock insurance is to ask what animals can be covered. Livestock insurance provides farm animal insurance coverage to those raising pigs, horses, cows, sheep, chicken, and other kinds of animals that thrive in farms  for commercial purposes. 

On the other hand, cattle insurance does not include livestock insurance coverage for pigs, chickens, rabbits,  geese, and other similar animals. In other words, as its name implies, cattle insurance will only cover those that belong to the category of “cattle” such as sheep, goats, cows, buffalos, donkeys, and mules.  In connection, those raising plants aside from cattle may also opt to get crop and cattle insurance whose terms are similar to cattle insurance but includes coverage for crops such as grains, vegetables, and fruits. 

Livestock and cattle insurance are almost the same when it comes to purpose. Customers avail any of the two to have protection against personal injury lawsuits, property damage lawsuits, community lawsuits, damage to business assets, business interruption, and employee injury claims. 

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Livestock Liability Insurance

Cows, sheep, horses, goats, pigs, donkeys, and other similar animals may look very docile at a glance. Nonetheless, these animals have the capacity to cause injuries or even death.

The occurrence of injuries or death is problematic for a farm. This can result in the reduction of workforce morale and loss of productivity. But it’s more problematic if the injuries or death happen to someone not directly connected with the farm’s activities. 

Livestock farms may have liability for any injuries or death to contractors, clients, or random persons.  In effect, personal injury lawsuits can request compensation from the farm for all damage the victim experienced.

And so, those running livestock farms and want their business to thrive more opt to get livestock liability insurance with general liability coverage. General liability coverage provides money for the cost of personal injury lawsuits.

Aside from personal injuries, general liability also accounts for property damage lawsuits.  The terms will dictate which property of the victim general liability can pay for. However, in most cases reimbursement is usually for personal devices, vehicles, and other important belongings a livestock-related accident damaged.

Livestock insurance with general liability coverage will provide protection against the financial burden of somebody’s personal injuries and property damage. But put into mind that it will not take care of lawsuits the community files because of operation-related hazards. 

Livestock Public Liability Insurance

Running a livestock farm exposes the community not only to pollution, but also pandemics if something goes wrong. If any of these happen and the community decides to file a lawsuit and win, a livestock farm might have to pay a settlement of more than  $10 million.

Livestock public liability insurance is important for those who make money by raising animals. This coverage will take effect the moment the policyholder faces a lawsuit for endangering the lives and properties of the community because of their business. 

Industry Specific Types of Livestock Insurance 

In reality, coverage will depend on which type of livestock or type of farm the insurance contract states as covered. For example, some livestock insurance only covers a horse or cow but excludes other animals. Or it could be that the policyholder only wants to insure one kind of animal but the livestock insurance covers many, resulting in a policy that’s too much for one’s needs. 

And so, farmers can opt to get industry specific types of livestock insurance with liability coverage for:

Cow Pasture Insurance

Cow attacks consist of 75% of fatalities on cow pastures. This goes to show that cows shouldn’t be underestimated as they’re lethal. However, it’s not the cow’s horns that kill people. Instead, cows kill people with their sheer weight and strength. Trampling and being bludgeoned with the cows’ head are some of the major causes of cow-related deaths.

Here’s a table showing the most common cow-related injuries as well as their settlement cost that cow pasture insurance with general liability coverage will pay for:

Type of Injury Settlement a Cow Pasture Might Pay
Death $750,275
Punctured Lungs$104,617
Fractures$67,248
Bruises$3,842
Contusion and Laceration$25,437
Concussion$40,281

Aside from general liability, cow pasture insurance also provides coverage for business property damage, equipment breakdown, employee injuries, and interruption of cow pasture operations by reason of disease and natural disasters. 

Horse Farm Insurance

Horses are graceful animals, but nonetheless as dangerous as cows. In the United States, ERs have treated about 1,836,536 horse-related injuries from 1990 - 2017 and horse kicks caused 700,000 of the total number of injuries mentioned. 

A horse’s kick is more than twice as strong as the punch of a professional boxer. The table below points some common horse kick injuries as well as their settlement cost, which horse farm insurance with general liability coverage can take care of:

Type of InjurySettlement a Horse Farm Might Pay
Traumatic Brain Injury$10 million
Spinal Cord Injury$7.5 million
Fractures$137,821
Pelvic Injury$187,562

Aside from general liability, horse farm insurance also offers other coverages such as farm property and commercial auto. In case the policyholder is worried about reaching the limits of their insurance when they really need it, then there’s the optional excess liability coverage.

Goat Farm Insurance

Domestic goats aren’t as dangerous as horses or cows but they can still cause injuries.  Young ones have very sharp horns and they might easily puncture someone’s leg.  Old goats have circular horns. They’re not sharp but are still hard enough to bludgeon a person’s leg and cause fractures. 

In goat farms, personal injury claims happen not because goats attacked someone but because they caused a sickness. Goats are notorious for carrying diseases like q-fever, pox viral disease, rabies, and giardiasis.

General liability coverage in goat farm insurance might provide protection depending which carrier the policyholder decides to work with. However, in most cases, its premises liability or products liability that will wrap the problem up. In addition, aside from general, premises, and products liability, goat farm insurance also offers other coverages such as commercial auto, equipment breakdown, and business interruption. 

Sheep Farm Insurance

Sheep are very affectionate and sweet. It’s hard to imagine how they can cause injuries. However, when they become cross, sheep can injure or even kill a person. A perfect example is a Bolton Farm sheep that killed it’s volunteer caretaker through ramming and causing cardiac arrest. 

Compensation for deaths and injuries a sheep farm is liable for can scale up to more than $300,000. And so, carriers offer sheep farm insurance with general liability as basic coverage. Additional coverages are building and shed protection, equipment breakdown, commercial vehicle, theft and vandalism, and agricultural drone. 

Livestock Theft Insurance

There’s a reason why some say that raising crops might be better than raising livestock or cattle. After all, it’s more profitable and practical for thieves to steal a horse, sheep, or cow, than steal crops growing in an open field. 

Livestock rustling is one of USA’s long-standing problems. Though the situation is much better right now as rustlers are fewer due to the efforts of law enforcement agencies, livestock thievery still deals a huge blow to some farmers in the United States. A proof of this is the fact that from 2010 - 2012 farmers lost $1.3 billion out of stolen livestock and an additional $100 million to recover what was stolen

That’s why farmers are not paranoid if livestock thievery keeps them awake at night aside from equipment thievery. 

Getting livestock theft insurance can provide a bit of reassurance that livestock rustling won’t deal a significant financial damage to a farm.  Livestock theft insurance will reimburse the policyholder amounting to the percentage of or the full herd value if these animals are stolen:

  • Cattle (beef and dairy)

  • Sheep

  • Pig

  • Goat

  • Horse

  • Donkey

  • Llama

  • Mule

  • Poultry

Another thing, a policyholder can’t only get money from their livestock theft insurance after a successful theft but also after an attempted theft. An example where this becomes handy is if the thieves decide to kill the livestock the moment they realize their heist will fail. 

Some livestock theft coverage don’t only account for theft and provide optional terms.  For example, a policyholder can decide for their livestock theft insurance to apply for losses due to arson. 

Livestock Hauling Insurance

Livestock hauling insurance pertains to several policies that offer protection associated with the transportation of cows, chicken, horses, and other livestock. 

Horse hauling insurance provides the best protection when transporting horses. This insurance will provide money when the horses die while in transit because of escaping or equipment malfunction. Speaking of escapes, horse hauling insurance also offers liability coverage if ever the escapee causes collateral damage on the road.  The cost of horse hauling insurance amounts to $5,000 per annum or $416.66 a month. 

Livestock transport insurance, otherwise known as livestock transit insurance, almost works the same way as horse hauling insurance as it can reimburse the policyholder if the livestock dies while in transit. However, it has several key differences such as:

  • Loss of value of animals due to damage occurring during loading, transit, and unloading

  • Theft of the livestock while in transit

  • Pays for additional cost if the farm must use or hire another trailer due to the malfunctioning of the delivering trailer

  • Reimburses the policyholder for the total value of all animals that died in transit categorized as “livestock”

The cost of livestock transport insurance is also expensive. On average, policyholders pay $7,000 a year or 583.33 a month. 

Livestock trailer insurance is an insurance for trailers mainly used for transporting pigs, cows , horses, and other related animals. Commercial auto coverage does not apply to trailers as carriers don’t consider them a permanent part of the freighter or truck. And so, a livestock trailer insurance exists to provide reimbursement for physical damage because of accidents. On average, customers pay $315 a year or 26.25 a month to get insured. 

Some carriers don’t allow customers to get livestock trailer insurance easily. Successful application is only possible if:

  • The trailer is less than 20 years old

  • For trailers with living quarters for cattle, then there must be a lock that secures the animal inside

  • The trailer’s good condition has been checked and complies with all the regulations of NHTSA

Finally, livestock cargo insurance provides coverage for any unfortunate events while the livestock are onboard a ship.  This policy becomes very useful in case the livestock carrier declares a general average as the ship was damaged.  By the way, a general average is a condition where the shipping carrier demands some payment and holds any cargo under its possession until the owners hand money.  Livestock cargo insurance is useful as it can pay for the cost the shipping carrier is asking for. 

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Livestock Insurance Cost

Livestock insurance cost is heavily dependent on a range of factors that are unique to your particular farm. This makes it difficult to figure out your premiums unless the insurance company knows the details of your business, and this is why the quote process exists.

However, we understand that getting insurance quotes from several companies will take a lot of time and effort. So, you may not settle for a simple estimate. That’s why we went ahead and gathered quotes from three of the top livestock insurance companies out there:

CompanyCost per monthCost per year
Farm Bureau$73$876
The Hartford$76$912
Markel$82$984
Average Cost$176.33$2,116

We gathered these numbers using a medium-sized herd looked over by a farm that has no prior claims history to ensure that these numbers are as close to reference values as they can be. The average cost per month of livestock insurance is about $176.33 and the average cost per year is $2,116. 

The same above-mentioned factors affect cattle insurance prices. And so, we can only give you an estimate of cattle insurance cost. On average, cattle insurance companies charge their customers $150.42 a month or $1,805.04 a year.

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Best Livestock Insurance Companies

There are many cattle and livestock insurance companies to choose from, and finding the best one takes a bit of research. Instead of leaving that burden on your shoulders, we went ahead and took a look at some of the best companies out there and boiled them down to our top three choices.

Farm Bureau Livestock Insurance

Farm Bureau Financial Services was started in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1939. As the name suggests, the company was built to meet the financial and insurance needs of farmers. Over time, the company has expanded its offerings to include life insurance, auto insurance, and property insurance.

Farm Bureau Insurance Policy Details

FBFS offers crop and cattle insurance under their farm and ranch insurance policies. Some of the specific forms of coverage they offer include livestock gross margin insurance, livestock risk protection, and dairy revenue protection. They also offer bundles that cover your farm’s property as well as the livestock.

Pros
  • Great bundles

  • Affordable 

  • Gets you in touch with highly qualified agents if you don't know which insurance to get

Cons
  • Slow to respond to claims

Average cost: $73

Best for: Those looking for property and livestock coverage combined

Our rating: 5/5

The Hartford Livestock Insurance

The Hartford was founded back in the 1800s in Hartford, Connecticut, as you would expect from the company’s name. Throughout its history, The Hartford has survived some of the most damaging disasters in American history, at times relying on the wealth of its founder to remain afloat.

The Hartford Insurance Policy Details

The Hartford offers a range of livestock and cattle insurance policy options depending on the kind of animal you’re trying to have insured. For example, they offer horse insurance, domestic animal insurance, poultry insurance, and more.

Pros
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Specialized coverage
  • Affordable transit insurance
Cons
  • Doesn't offer insurance to small time livestock farm owners

Average cost:$76

Best for: Farms raising numerous types of  livestock

Our rating: 5/5

Markel Livestock Insurance

Markel has over seventy years of experience providing coverage for farms and ranches, and all of their agents are trained to handle agriculture and livestock better than the competition, at least according to the company.

Markel Insurance Policy Details 

Markel provides a range of farm animal insurance solutions ranging from horse insurance to cattle farm and ranch coverage. They are a bit more limited than the competition because these are the two kinds of animals that they have specific coverage for.

Pros
  • Proven experience in providing insurance services to livestock farms
  • Provides extras on insurance policies
Cons
  • Doesn't provide insurance to farms only raising swines and fowls

Average cost: $82

Best for: Horse insurance

Our rating: 4/5


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