Livestock insurance helps ranchers and farmers insure the animals. Because ranchers and farmers depend on these animals for both food and income, it's vitally important for them to choose a livestock policy that provides all of the protections they need. If you have livestock that you're dependent on, here are some questions to ask your insurance agent when shopping for a livestock policy. These questions will help you find a policy that meets your coverage needs.

What Incidents Does the Policy Protect Against?

What incidents a policy provides protection from will depend on its terms and conditions. Usually, it's a good idea to get a policy that has broad terms and conditions, and, therefore, offers protection from a variety of potential risks.

As your insurance agent answers this question, listen closely to see whether all of the following incidents are covered by the policy in question:

  • floods and earthquakes that injure or kill livestock
  • accidental shootings of livestock
  • attacks on livestock by wild animals and dogs
  • electrocution of livestock
  • loading and unloading accidents

If a policy doesn't offer protection against all of these, ask your insurance agent if there's another policy that's available and provides more coverage.

What Type of Coverage Does the Policy Provide?

Livestock insurance policies may cover a few different ways. Some common coverage options include:

  • individual coverage, which requires listing each animal individually on a policy
  • blanket coverage, which lumps livestock protection in with other coverages for a farm
  • herd coverage, which covers livestock as a group

Ranchers and farmers frequently opt for herd coverage, as it's easy to list the number and type of animal that's being insured. For instance, a dairy farmer might get herd coverage for 200 head of Holsteins.

In certain cases, though, individual or blanket coverage may be a better option. Individual coverage is often used to insure highly valuable animals, such as those that are used for studding, shows or competitions. Blanket coverage is often reserved for farms and homesteads that only have a few animals that account for just a portion of the farm's operations.

Does the Livestock Policy Offer Protection from Animal Cruelty Claims?

Some livestock insurance policies offer protection from animal cruelty claims. This may be included as a standard coverage, or it might be offered as an add-on. If you are ever accused of mistreating animals, this protection could help you defend yourself and your employees. Contact a company like Inspro Insurance to learn more.