Livestock Insurance 101

11 March 2017
 Categories: Business, Blog

If you're a farmer who produces meat or dairy animals or uses work animals on your ranch, you already know that a lot of your time and money is invested in the care and siring of your livestock. With the rising popularity of off-grid living and homesteading, more and more people are raising cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, and poultry to feed their families and make extra income. Even smaller operations need to protect their investment with farm livestock and cattle insurance.

What Are The Basics Of Livestock Coverage?

Animals are subject to mortality from accidents, disease, weather events, and in the case of mammals, childbirth complications. Entire egg hatching operations can also be destroyed by foxes, raccoons, possums, or catastrophic events.

Farm insurance policies vary depending on your needs, but you can check out flexible options at Typically, a general policy will cover your outbuildings and structures and then in the event of an accident or injury, your animals. If you want coverage for your livestock in the event of disease, however, this will require an additional comprehensive rider. There are three different ways to cover your animals.

  • Individual Coverage

If you have an expensive work horse, or a horse or steer with superior blood lines that is used for breeding, you may want to have the individual animal specifically covered against loss. High-value animals will be specifically named, tagged, and covered for a set amount.

  • Blanket Coverage

This type of policy covers everything, including your buildings and all livestock.

  • Herd Coverage

A herd coverage policy will cover an entire herd, whether it is 200 head of cattle, 400 pigs, or a flock of 300 chickens. 

Limited Coverage Versus Comprehensive Coverage

Limited coverage farm insurance may be more cost-effective for you if you have only a few animals. This will cover accidents, like a fire or electrocution, weather events, such as tornadoes or lightning, and theft or vandalism. It will also usually cover death or injury during transport, attacks from other animals, and death or injury from equipment breakdowns, such as animals freezing to death because the power went out. Comprehensive coverage will cover all of the above plus loss from illness or disease.

Your farm or ranch may have other situations specific to your set-up. For example, you may also raise crops, have a lot of expensive farm machinery, or have other uses for your animals, such as riding horses, that may require additional policies. Consult with your insurance agent to determine what kind of coverage will best suit all of your operations.