Are You Ready for Winter?

Are You Ready for Winter?

Article By: Cathy Asher, Relationship Manager for SFB

With the Farmer's Almanac predicting this winter to mirror last winter's snow fall, producers may want to take some extra time to evaluate structural integrity and insurance coverage yet this fall before the snow flies.

While you may not have experienced a collapse last winter, the soundness of your farm buildings may have been compromised with the excess snow load we experienced.  Carefully assess the roof components for existing cracks or breaks. There may be an opportunity to reinforce these components and avoid a more costly repair later or worse, loss of livestock or use of equipment. 

Now also is the time to review your farm insurance coverage. Your agent would likely welcome the opportunity to discuss your policy and how you can minimize risk of loss to your operation. Take some time to review not only deductibles but whether your policy is written to cover the following:

  1. Collapse due to snow load and/or wind.
  2. Loss of production due to structural failure.
  3. Loss of contents - fans, animals, equipment, waterers, stalls, and other fixtures.
  4. Structural age restrictions - Is the building too old to be covered?
  5. Modification of structures - If you add a lean-to or other addition, is the original structure covered?
  6. Type of coverage:
    * Actual cash value
    * Replacement cost value
    * Functional replacement value

Special thanks to Carl Duley of Buffalo County UW-Extension for presenting the information on insurance considerations recently at the Farm Building Structural Failures Workshop.