Are your agriculture clients covered?

Alberta farmer to pay thousands out of her own pocket for damage to fences and trees caused by a windstorm.

A central Alberta farmer is upset the provincial government will not pay thousands of dollars in damages from a July 7 windstorm that severely damaged her fences and trees.

Monica Kaban, who lives in the Innisfail area, said her cattle and horse ranch suffered extensive damage in the storm.

Now she wonders how she can afford to pay for the extensive fencing and tree damage because her insurer says wind damage is not covered. Six buildings, including several that were flattened, and a partially destroyed riding arena are covered by insurance.

Lorne Rye, owner of Alberta-based Brown & Ward Insurance Ltd. explained that while property damage due to wind is covered, damage to fences and trees due to wind are typically extensions of a standard farm policy and covered up to a certain amount.

In most cases, the personal dwelling portion of a farm policy has a “Detached Private Structures” extension that includes coverage for fencing up to the percentage limit allowed, he told Canadian Insurance Top Broker September 28.

“Also, outdoor trees, shrubs, plants and lawns are usually an extension coverage and covered up to an allowed percentage,” he said.

For example, 5% of the dwelling building amount and/or a max of $1,000 per item, whichever is less. This may vary slightly from insurer to insurer, he said.

In a farm situation, most farmers do not insure their trees for the higher value, explained Rye. Also, in order to cover fences and corrals, which are now not considered private building extension (as mentioned), the client must purchase the coverage for fences and corrals specifically.

“The bigger problem is that most companies I have approached, will only offer the fire & lightning form for fences and corals, and this form does not include the peril of wind,” said Rye. “Therefore, I would guess most agriculture risks do not have coverage for windstorm to fences and corrals and only limited coverage for trees, shrubs, plants.”

Rye added there might be specific situations that differ, but the majority of risks would be faced with the same issues as Kaban.
With files from The Canadian Press


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