What Is Covered by a Typical Farm Insurance Policy?

What Is Covered by a Typical Farm Insurance Policy?

By now you’ve probably seen the headlines: food costs in Canada are on the rise in 2017, both for fresh produce and animal products. The unpredictable weather patterns and rise in transportation costs are both stated as culprits, leading many local Islanders to raise the question:

Should we be growing more of our own to help curb the inevitable rising cost of food?

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At SeaFirst, we suspect these rising food costs could lead to more commercial and hobby farms popping up along the Saanich Peninsula, which is already seeing its fair share of established agribusinesses.

That being said, at some point—at some scale—new farmers will need to start thinking about purchasing a special insurance policy that protects their farming business. This is because standard home insurance policies exclude farming-related outbuildings, farming equipment, and land used for farming operations.

Fortunately, farming insurance coverage is available through the experts at Seafirst Insurance Brokers. Our general package starts with the basics, with plenty of add-ons available. Basic farm insurance packages cover things like:

  • Residential dwellings
  • Farm outbuildings
  • Farm equipment and tools
  • Machinery and machinery breakdown
  • Livestock
  • Hay & Feed
  • Liability

Residential dwellings – Because some of the work done on the farm is done at a desk, your home office, and therefore the residential space on your farm land, is covered against fire/explosions/lightening through our general farm insurance policy.

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Additional coverage is available to protect against further damage caused by sudden collapses, falling objects, glass breakage, lock replacements, vandalism, bad weather, and the like.

When going through your property with a broker, don’t forget to include all dwellings on the property, like those of your full-time staff who happen to room and board on the farm.


Farm outbuildings – Many things can go wrong with farm outbuildings as many are old or erected in a hurry—sometimes to a non-existent code. Farm insurance policies protect these buildings in the event they are damaged due to fire/explosions/lightening.

Additional coverage is available to protect against further damage caused by sudden collapses, falling objects, glass breakage, lock replacements, vandalism, bad weather, and the like.


Farm equipment and tools – In the event your equipment is damaged due to fire, lightening, or an explosion, basic farm insurance covers the cost of repairing the damaged property.

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You can purchase additional coverage to ensure against other types of damages, but in this case you have to be able to prove your equipment and tools are stored adequately and are well taken care of.


Machinery and machinery breakdown – When machines breakdown, it can cost a lot of money while you wait for things to get back up and running. In the event your machinery is damaged due to fire, lightening, or an explosion, basic farm insurance covers the cost of repairing the damaged property.

Additional farming insurance is available that will reimburse you for lost days of work due to machinery breakdowns. The pricier your equipment is, the pricier the premiums, keep in mind.


Livestock – Our farm insurance package covers livestock losses such as beef and dairy cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs. While special insurance is required to protect against losses due to the unexpected health problems of the animals, basic farm insurance policies will cover losses that are the result of things like lightening, fire, earthquakes, flood, theft, vandalism, tornadoes, drowning, and fallen trees, etc.

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Hay & Feed – The same perils that can devastate your livestock, outbuildings, and machinery can also wreak havoc on your hay and feed supply. Insuring your hay and feed against natural disasters and fire means you’re covered for financial losses and your profits are protected.

This protection only extends to stored products, not that which is actively growing in the fields. To see if you can insure actively growing crops, ask your broker for their advice on the matter.


Liability – Liability exposures are significantly higher when dealing with farms. It is very important to obtain a farm liability policy, or even a general liability policy, depending on the extent of coverage you feel you’ll need.

If someone hurts themselves while on your property, liability insurance can cover your for financial damages and protect you against expensive lawsuits in a number of cases.

For example:

  • If you are, or are wanting to be, involved with agritourism and open your farm up to visitors
  • If you hire seasonal workers
  • If you have friends and family over
  • If you hire contractors to help you with building new structures
  • If you’re a vendor at a farmers’ market and there is an accident involving your booth


What Types of Things Are Not Covered by a Typical Farm Insurance Policy?

Fencing: Farmers need to be warned that in most cases, fencing is not automatically covered in a general farm insurance policy. The reason being is because the value of fencing fluctuates so much, as does the amount of it, that a fair pricing model is a tricky one for insurance providers to nail down, therefore they rarely include it in base rate packages.

Machinery that is old and poorly maintained: if your equipment is old and falling apart, it will be hard to find insurance for it. Likewise, in the event of a claim, if an insurance adjuster deems the malfunction to be caused by neglect, coverage will often be denied.

Farms with no firetruck laneways: If your property doesn’t have adequate passage for firetrucks to get through, you’ll find it tough to find someone who will insure your property. Likewise if there a lack of a water source nearby.

Pollution insurance: Check to make sure pollution liability insurance is included in your general farm liability insurance if this is a concern for you, particularly if you use stock piles of pesticide and fuel each day.

Accident insurance: Who will pay the bills if you suffer an accident and are out of commission for a while? You might already have general life insurance or disability insurance through another agency. Ask a broker if you’re not sure—it’s worth it to find out what you’re covered for in case you have an accident on the farm and are no longer able to work.

Cannabis grow ops: Unless it is licensed and authorized by Health Canada, a cannabis farm is not covered under SeaFirst’s Farm Insurance Policy.


Like the properties in which it insures, farm insurance is a vast field, and due to all of the moving parts of an agribusiness, you’ll want to make sure you are completely covered without over-paying for coverage you don’t truly need.

Don’t just trust any broker out there for your farm insurance needs, contact the farm insurance experts at SeaFirst Insurance Brokers in Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island.

Our brokers are available to help you navigate through the language of farming insurance . We come out to your site and look at the whole business, ask you the right questions, and provide coverage that’s as comprehensive and unique as your operation. 

SeaFirst Insurance has multiple offices in the Greater Victoria BC area, and we can help meet your needs whether you’re a small-time animal farmer or large commercial greenhouse operator. Contact us and let us help you secure your properties.