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Agricultural carrier insurance

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Compare agricultural truck insurance for livestock, grain and refrigerated goods carriers.

Agricultural truck insurance covers owner-drivers and businesses that haul goods such as livestock, grain and refrigerated goods. Transporting livestock and food cargo brings some unique challenges and risks, such as strict hygiene standards and additional costs after an accident, like rounding up livestock or spoiled cargo. Compare agricultural truck insurances to meet these challenges and protect your business and the cargo you carry.

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Who needs agricultural carrier insurance?

Compare just a few examples of who might need agricultural truck insurance.

  • Farmers
  • Ranchers
  • Milk haulers
  • Dairy food companies
  • Grain haulers
  • Livestock haulers
  • Farm and ranch equipment haulers

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How to find cheap carrier insurance

You will want to look at the following conditions when comparing different policies.

  • Choose a higher deductible. Consider raising your deductible to reduce your premium payments. But be certain you can cover the deductible in the event of an accident.
  • Keep a clean track record. Drivers without any losses generally get lower premiums.
  • Ask for discounts. The ability to bundle coverage with other options will help to lower your premium, for example.
  • Get the right coverage. Don’t pay extra for coverage you don’t need.
  • Get multiple quotes and compare your options. Make sure you’re comparing equivalent coverage so you can understand what you’re getting for your money.

What factors affect how much I pay for carrier insurance?

The following situations may affect your premiums.

  • Your chosen level of coverage and policy features
  • The market value or agreed sum insured of the vehicle
  • The invoice value of the vehicle’s equipment, cargo and personal effects
  • Your deductible
  • Driving history, age and driving experience
  • Other factors that affect the risk of an accident, such as your location

What does agricultural carrier insurance cover?

In general, motor carrier insurance may cover the following types of damage or loss.

  • Accidents, collisions, overturning or jackknifing
  • Cargo damage including shifting, ocean shipping, loading and unloading
  • Worker injuries or property damage while unloading a truck
  • Debris removal costs, emergency services attendance and relocating cargo
  • Floods, fires, storms, lightning and hurricanes
  • Theft, vandalism, non-delivery, hijacking and armed holdup
  • Industrial or labor disturbances such as strikes or lockouts

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What additional carrier coverage should I consider?

Livestock, refrigerated-goods and grain carriers have some additional challenges that require additional insurance features to help cover them. If you transport any of these items, you may want to take steps to ensure you have more specialized coverage for these goods, rather than general carrier insurance.

  • Refrigerated container breakdown. Insures refrigerated-goods carriers against cargo spoilage.
  • Deterioration of goods due to temperature. Covers damage, deterioration or loss of goods that require temperature-controlled transport.
  • Spoilage cover. Insures against the loss of perishable goods due to spoilage after an accident.
  • Livestock wandering, roundup and agistment. Covers the cost of recovering, collecting and safely holding livestock after an accident until they can continue their transport.
  • Humane slaughtering. Covers the value of livestock that needs to be destroyed for humane reasons after an accident.
  • Fumigation and decontamination. Covers the cost of fumigation and decontamination if you are legally responsible or have been ordered to decontaminate your cargo.
  • Personal driver insurance. Provides death benefits and repatriation for long hauls.
  • Business insurance. This umbrella coverage helps cover loss of earnings or other business interruptions

Exclusions vs limits

Exclusions affect what you can and cannot claim under a policy, while limitations affect how much you can get back. It’s important to be aware of both when considering coverage value.

What’s not covered with carrier insurance?

Almost all insurance policies have limitations and exclusions. It’s important to note that with some carrier insurance policies, you may come across some of the following limitations and exclusions.

  • Horses, stud animals or prize animals do not fall under the category of livestock
  • Livestock that was not in good health before loading
  • Failure of refrigeration if you have not regularly serviced and maintained your system
  • Damage caused by moths, mold, mildew, vermin or other pests
  • Ordinary leakage, wear and tear or loss in weight or volume of goods
  • Dangerous goods
  • Mishandling of goods or improper use or storage of equipment or cargo

What limits apply?

Additional maximum limits typically apply in addition to limitations. For example, you might only be covered for market value of a truck, trailer, personal possessions or trade tools only, not the actual cost of purchasing a replacement truck. And you’ll typically get overage for the invoice value of a load up to a certain limit.

Limits and sub-limits can apply to the maximum amount you can be reimbursed for different types of loss and can vary between insurers and policies. For example, you might find a total limit of $30 million for third-party liability, with a sub-limit of $250,000 for hazardous goods liability. In many cases, the maximum limit of a certain type of coverage might not be enough to cover the full costs, and depending on the situation, there may be more than one applicable limit and different conditions.

What happens after a car accident during livestock transport?

A livestock policy might pay up to $25,000 in total for livestock roundup and agistment costs following an accident. This might be the maximum total amount, but the amount paid might be less if a replacement livestock carrier arrives before the agistment costs come to $25,000.

The limits might be different where agistment is necessary to restore injured livestock to their pre-loss condition. Here, an insurer might only pay up to the lesser of the following amounts:

  • The animals’ sum insured.
  • The loss due to agreed depreciation had the animals been sold as injured livestock. In other words, if you could only sell the injured animals at half their sum insured, then the insurer will only pay out up to half of the sum insured for agistment costs.

Bottom line

Hauling agricultural goods comes with its own unique challenges. When selecting insurance, make sure you are aware of your needs and what the policy covers. And always compare your options to ensure you’re getting the best coverage at the best price.

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Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com, comparing products, writing guides and looking for new ways to help people make smart decisions. He's a fan of insurance, business news and cryptocurrency.

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