What livestock insurance covers

Livestock insurance covers broad causes of loss protection, including:

  • Accidental shootings
  • Attacks by dogs or wild animals (except to sheep)
  • Earthquakes
  • Electrocution
  • Floods
  • Loading and unloading accidents
  • Sudden and accidental collisions causing death

Keep in mind that there may be a limit on the value of any one animal, although higher limits may be available.

Know your options

The maximum amount payable per head is determined by how your livestock are insured:

  • Individual
  • Blanket
  • Herd

Individual coverage

You can schedule each animal individually. Listing animals individually may be the right option if you have higher-valued animals you want to cover up to a specific dollar amount. They can be identified in whatever manner you use on your farm or ranch, such as an ear tag number, name or unique description.

Blanket coverage

You can also insure livestock as part of a blanket policy. With a blanket policy, all of your farm property is insured in one lump sum amount. Livestock, equipment and structures are covered in one policy.

If you’re using blanket insurance, be sure to insure to adequate values. Being under-insured may result in receiving a lower claim payment than you need or expect.

Herd coverage

The most common way to cover livestock is to insure them as a herd, such as 100 head of Holstein cattle.

What livestock insurance doesn’t cover

General farm insurance policies, including AgriChoice, don’t provide coverage for livestock and poultry losses caused by:

  • Disease
  • Old age
  • Death by natural causes

If you’d like specialized cattle insurance coverage that protects against disease, old age and death by natural causes, ask your agent about livestock mortality insurance. Your agent will need to acquire a separate policy from another insurer.

Newly-acquired livestock

Most farm insurance policies provide an automatic extension on farm personal property to cover newly-acquired livestock. It won't typically be covered under livestock insurance.

Be sure to report new animals within the time frames specified in your policy. Also review your policy with your agent to be sure you're aware of coverage limits and reporting requirements for your newly-acquired livestock.

Uninsured livestock

If you choose not to insure your animals, your AgriChoice policy still provides coverage if your animals are struck by a vehicle or are accidentally shot by a hunter.

Protection against animal cruelty claims

AgriChoice also includes unfounded animal cruelty lawsuit protection. This free policy endorsement will reimburse you up to your policy limits to help offset attorney fees if you are prosecuted and found not guilty of animal cruelty.

Talk to your agent about which livestock insurance option may work best for your operation.