Agricultural Pollution Coverage – Are You Covered?

With spring and planting season just around the corner, it’s a good time for farmers to think about their pollution coverage on their farm insurance 

Rural Mutual has always offered pollution coverage but in recent years, enhanced the pollution program and began rolling it onto all policies with some basic coverage limits at time of renewal.  Policyholders have the ability to explore increased coverage limits or make other coverage adjustments by working with their agent.  

Pollution coverage is unique in that it is site specific and tied to the acres the insured provides us with.  We know that each year farmers can make substantial changes to their owned and rented acreage.  If they do have pollution coverage in place, it is important that they report all changes to their agent so coverage is updated to reflect the current acres.  

What types of losses are included with ag pollution coverage by Rural Mutual? 

  • Liability coverage for pollution cleanup costs because of claims of environmental damage caused by a pollution incident* and asserted under governmental authority 
  • Liability coverage for claims of bodily injury and property damage arising out of a pollution incident* 
  • First-party pollution cleanup costs incurred by the insured at the insured site and caused by a pollution incident* 

*Pollution incident is defined as any above-ground contact with agricultural pollutants which have accidentally discharged, dispersed, seeped, migrated, released, or escaped during the insured’s farming operations: 

  • At or from an insured site; or 
  • Away from an insured site while the agricultural pollutants were transported by mobile equipment owned, operated by, rented, or loaned to any insured on roads or access ways adjacent to the insured site. 

Is farm pollution coverage important? 

Absolutely, the agriculture industry deals with a lot of material that can cause a pollution incident.  Fertilizers, fuel, and manure are common on many farms and are just a few of the materials that are involved in the pollution claims we see. 

Tips to avoid a farm pollution incident

It is important to comply with all local, state and federal statutes, ordinances and license requirements regarding the application of herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, chemicals, and waste.

  • A good safety program is recommended and should incorporate a cleanup and spill response place for applying any of these items.
  • All employees involved with the application of these products should be properly trained and licensed.
  • It is also important to follow manufactures specifications and standard industry practices when formulating, mixing, and applying any of these products.
  • All tanks (above and below ground) should be well maintained, properly installed and in compliance with all local, state, and federal ordinances and requirements.
  • Make sure you are aware of and in compliance with the requirements for Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure plans (SPCC) with respect to petroleum products.

Aside from pollution, what other areas should farmers pay attention to? 

Every year we recommended to review your farm personal property inventory with your agent to make sure that you are up to date with coverage for items such as equipment, feed, and livestock.  It is important to schedule a review and review all coverages at least annually to make sure your properly protected in the event of a loss.  

Contact your Rural Mutual agent to review your pollution coverage and to learn more about our additional farm coverages.