Your Introductory Guide to Crop Insurance

21 April 2020

a field with sunshine

Ontario is one of Canada’s largest producers of cash crops. This is a testament to the ability of our farmers, but it also presents a risk. If weather, pests, or some other unforeseen accident destroys your crop, where will you be left? Will you have enough to keep the farm running?

Farming insurance exists to help protect you against these unknown factors. Crop insurance is only one facet of this larger category, but for many farmers, it’s an essential part of their insurance policy. At Will Marshall, we’ve been serving the agricultural community for over 20 years. Here’s a quick introduction to crop insurance, what it covers, and how to find the right farming insurance for your business.

What is Crop Insurance?

Crop insurance exists to protect farmers, their workers, and their families in the event of a failed or spoiled crop. There are many different reasons why a yield might be lower than normal: bugs, bad weather, and disease can all be devastating if the farmer isn’t prepared for them. Crop insurance works by compensating you if your yield falls under a certain percentage or if your crops are damaged.

Which Kinds of Crops are Covered?

The crop coverage you receive will largely depend on the type of farming insurance that you get, but as a general rule of thumb, the following crops are usually covered by insurance:

  • Barley
  • Canola
  • Beans & Lentils
  • Peas
  • Flax
  • Oats
  • Sunflowers
  • Wheat

What About Livestock?

Cows and sheep might not grow from the soil, but they’re still an important part of many farmers’ yearly income. Crop insurance won’t necessarily cover them, but that’s no cause for alarm – there are specialized insurance policies designed to protect your livestock.

Types of Crop Insurance

Each farm has its own unique combination of crops, equipment, and working conditions, which means that one generic catch-all policy couldn’t possibly catch everything that would come up. Crop insurance, therefore, comes in several different forms, which can be customized and bundled alongside other forms of farming insurance to create a comprehensive plan that addresses the specific concerns of your farm.

  • Multi-Peril – This form of farming insurance allows you to choose protection for multiple crops against many different kinds of risks. Many farmers favour multi-peril crop insurance because it allows for the greatest level of customization for a farm’s unique production.
  • Organic – Do you grow organic crops? This form of crop insurance is designed to 
  • Weather-Based – There’s no way to control how much rain falls on your farm, but often, your yield depends on it. Weather-based coverage provides specific protections in the event of unexpected or unseasonal weather conditions.

The crop insurance you’ll need will largely depend on what you grow and which challenges you anticipate in the coming years. For example, growers of corn and soybeans will want to be prepared in the event of diseases like tar spot and white mould, both of which are forecast to be an issue in 2020

If you’re not quite sure which form of insurance would be best for you, ask your insurance broker. They’ll be able to help you assess the possible risks that exist and will recommend an insurance package that addresses each individual concern.

What About Farm Equipment?

Different insurance providers will have different policy provisions, but generally, you’ll need specialized coverage for any farm vehicles, tools, or buildings that you’d like to protect. However, this coverage can be bundled in alongside your crop insurance.

Find the Right Crop Insurance for Your Farm

If crop insurance sounds like a smart idea to have on board, you’re likely excited to get started. There’s a lot of literature out there, and a lot of nuances to each provider’s policy arrangements. The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours researching it all – that’s what an insurance broker is for.

Your insurance broker will consult with you regarding your concerns and the assets of your farm. From there, they’ll be able to guide you through the different policy options available. Armed with their experience and guidance, you’ll easily be able to choose the crop insurance, equipment coverage, and production insurance that best suits your farm.

For more information on farming insurance, including crop coverage, call Will Marshall Insurance Brokers at (705) 726-2551. You can also message us directly online. We’re ready to help you protect what’s important.