“Insurance is for people who don’t know to keep their heads down and their eyes up” a less-than-wise man once noted. If your home for horses is classified as a business, insurance isn’t just to protect the accident-prone rancher. Some coverage is mandated by the state, while others are simply a good idea. Covering your assets against the unexpected can be the difference between a minor setback and a catastrophic loss.
Liability insurance is all about protecting your business from the outside world. If a visitor hurts themselves on your property, you could be on the hook for their medical bills or even long-term disability costs. States mandate this type of business insurance because it simply makes sense. Few ranch owners can afford the costly litigation and expenses associated with an unexpected visitor injury, which could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Insurance vastly reduces the amounts due and provides a way of mitigating much of that cost.
States also mandate workers’ compensation in many cases. This type of insurance comes in handy whenever a worker is injured on the job. Farmhands and ranchers spend a lot of time around dangerous tools, uneven ground or ditches, and sometimes ornery livestock. Even if you’ve seen the warning signs of alcoholism in a worker and told them to stop drinking on the job, you could be liable if their shenanigans cause injury to others. Workers’ compensation helps sick or injured farmhands get back on their feet and back at the job, making it an invaluable tool for commonplace mishaps as well as big events.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to let people go. In many states, you’re on the hook for unemployment if they’re fired for reasons other than their own conduct or performance. Unemployment insurance mitigates much of the costs associated with firing, furloughing or otherwise laying off employees. Some coverage can even assist with preventing fraudulent or misunderstood claims by former workers.
While your customers and workers are important assets, horse farmers and ranchers need to consider their equine charges, as well. Coverage for horses includes compensation for mortality or theft, keeping you from heavy losses if your planned sales fail due to illnesses, injuries or rustlers. Some coverage options can compensate you for trips to the vet due to unrest during travels, inclement weather and accidental shootings or collisions. Planning ahead can eliminate much of the costs associated with major medical expenses for horse care.
Running your farm or ranch as a small business means getting business insurance. The right coverage can protect your income, your workers, site visitors and the animals in your care. Make the right choice and get the insurance that best suits your needs. You’ll be protected against the unexpected and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from life on the farm instead of worrying about the damages associated with illness, injury or the weather.
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