Do I need Insurance for my Farm Tractor & is it Mandatory?

Although you might not think so, tractor accidents do happen, and quite frequently at that. According to the Farm Injury Resource Center, most of these accidents are rollovers, with about 44% of them falling into that category.

That makes you wonder, if your tractor injured someone or caused property damage in an accident, would you have to pay for that directly or could insurance cover it? Do you even need tractor insurance in the United States?

If you have a tractor loan, then yes, most loan companies will require you to have insurance on your tractor during the life of the tractor loan. If you do not have a loan on your tractor, insurance is optional. Overall, it’s better to have insurance than not, as the cost of hospital bills, repairs, and even tractor replacement can amount to tens-of-thousands of dollars.

Are you seriously thinking about getting tractor insurance for the first time? Then this article is for you. In it, we’ll discuss more about whether you need tractor insurance, where you can get it, what it covers, and how much it costs. Keep reading!

What Does Tractor Insurance Cover?

We have all sorts of insurance in our everyday lives: car insurance, life insurance, house insurance, even insurance on those pricy concert tickets you recently bought. All offer protection, and with tractor insurance, it’s no different.

Here are three important insurance categories of coverage to protect yourself and your livelihood against damage.

Accident Coverage

Let’s say you were to get in an accident on your tractor. As the stats in the intro proved, these are mostly rollovers, but not always. These rollovers can happen for all sorts of reasons, be that overloading your tractor, taking a corner too quickly, or getting too near an embankment or incline.

Rollovers and other accidents can unfortunately be fatal, but even if they aren’t, the damage they can cause is extensive. From property damage to injuries to fellow farmers and other passersby, you also have to factor in the wreckage that is your tractor into the cost of repairs.

Tallying the above, you could be out hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially considering a tractor itself is priced anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000. Luckily, with insurance, you wouldn’t have to pay for these costs by yourself.

Theft Coverage

Here’s another awful scenario. You park your tractor where you always do, only to wake up the next morning and find it’s not there. You look all over before you realize that your tractor has indeed been stolen.

Without insurance, you can call the police and file a case, but if the cops don’t find your tractor, that’s as far as things go. You’d have to shell out for the costs of the replacement yourself.

Once you get tractor insurance, it’s possible for your provider to put forth some funds to pay for the cost of your new tractor. While it’s never a good thing to have your tractor stolen, knowing you don’t have to pay in full for a replacement does make the loss a little easier to bear.

Repairs Coverage

Let’s say you didn’t lose your tractor outright, but after an accident, it’s in pretty poor shape. You didn’t hit anything around you, and no one was injured, but your tractor is essentially unusable.

Your tractor insurance can come in handy in this situation, too. Instead of having to bore the full brunt of financial responsibilities for repairs yourself, your insurance can take some of the weight off your shoulders. That will make paying for the comprehensive repairs your tractor needs much easier.

Is Tractor Insurance Mandatory in the USA?

With all the perks of tractor insurance, you were thinking of getting it anyway. Still, you’re curious, is it something you must have or is insurance coverage of this nature optional?

For the most part, it’s optional. That said, if you went through a loan company to get financing for your tractor, then your loan provider may ask that you insure your vehicle. The insurance could be its own separate cost, or it could be rolled into what you pay for your loan.

While loan insurance is a decent enough option, there are two downsides. For one, you’re not covered if someone steals your tractor. Also, once your loan ends, typically so does the life of the insurance. You may get a few months of coverage post-loan, but that’d be it.

Check your current home insurance plan, as sometimes your provider may be willing to roll in tractor insurance to this deal as well. There are limitations to this coverage too, such as you must use your tractor for farming or farm maintenance only. Also, most of the time, it’s mandated that the tractor be on your property to count under home insurance.

Again, this limits your coverage. Home insurance will often not cover theft of the tractor. Plus, as soon as you leave your property, such as driving your tractor, the insurance does not protect you.

That’s why it’s much better to choose a company that specializes in tractor insurance.

Which Companies Offer Tractor Insurance?

Where do you find these companies? Here’s an overview of some of the better-known tractor insurance companies for your perusal.

Nationwide

If you already use Nationwide for your personal insurance, take a look at their business insurance, namely their tractor and farm equipment protections. Calling their farm insurance AgriChoice, Nationwide says you receive protection when operating leased, rented, borrowed, and owned tractors and related farming equipment.

If your tractor suffers foreign object damage, ground or roadbed damage, or hitching and towing damage, you’re covered. You also get cab glass coverage without a deductible. Further, AgriChoice protects your vehicle from wind, lightning, and fire damage.

Besides tractors of your own or someone else’s, Nationwide’s AgriChoice tractor insurance protects the other farm equipment you might use regularly. This equipment includes:

  • GPS equipment
  • Portable structures, including fences
  • Portable irrigation equipment
  • Farm office equipment
  • Field equipment
  • Hay rakes
  • Sprayers
  • Planters

American Family Insurance

American Family Insurance provides life, home, auto insurance, and more, including protections for farm equipment and tractors.

You can choose from scheduled or blanket coverage. With the former, you pick the items you want insured by their value, which you also determine. Scheduled coverage is considered more customizable then. With blanket coverage, you get a single total limit for all your equipment, including tractors.

Under an American Family Insurance plan, you won’t have to pay the full costs should you have a tractor collision as well as damage from smoke, hail, windstorms, lightning, and fire. Even vandalism and theft are covered.

If you need more for your tractor insurance plan, you have options. American Family Insurance lets you add on coverage such as:

  • Ingestion of foreign objects for farm equipment and machinery coverage
  • Open perils coverage
  • Borrowed or rented farm equipment coverage
  • Farm equipment breakdown coverage
  • Replacement coverage

Shelter Insurance

Another option for your consideration is Shelter Insurance. With an insurance policy through this company, your tractor is protected from all sorts of maladies and damage. Such examples are:

  • Collapse
  • Lightning
  • Flooding (only from overflowing water)
  • Vandalism
  • Collision overturns
  • Broken cab glass
  • Hail
  • Windstorms
  • Falling objects
  • Theft
  • Fire

With Shelter Insurance, you get the option to list farm equipment one by one for a set amount. Even farming equipment attachments are eligible for this, letting you add more to the value of your tractor.

How Much Does Tractor Insurance Cost?

One of the biggest questions on your mind is likely how much you’re going to pay for your tractor insurance. Owning a tractor is far from cheap, so you try to avoid tacking on too many extra expenses.

The cost of insurance varies based on factors like a.) insurance type chosen, b.) the insurance company you’re working with, and c.) the extent of your coverage. For instance, if your tractor coverage was rolled into a home insurance plan, then you likely wouldn’t pay any extra for it. Remember, in almost all cases though, you can’t leave your house and still have your tractor be insured, so there are limitations.

For insurance exclusive to tractors and other farming equipment, the price may be around $135 annually. That’s $11.25 a month, so it’s hardly breaking the bank to protect one of the costliest (if not the costliest) vehicles you own.

Conclusion

While you don’t have to get your tractor insured in the US, it’s a good idea to do so anyway. Tractor insurance protects you from theft, vandalism, weather damage, accident damage, and a whole lot more. While you can always use home insurance to cover your tractor, this isn’t as expansive.

You may never get in a tractor accident, and we hope you don’t. Still, the peace of mind you get from knowing you’re covered with tractor insurance is priceless.

Christy Louth

Christy is a wife, writer, artist and hobby farmer with an addiction to tractors.

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