What You Should Know About Insurance

When you think of ‘insurance’, what do you think of? Premiums? Bills? Accidents? No matter what your answer is, unless you work in the insurance field, you may not have a full understanding of everything that goes into insurance, especially on the farm side. On the Rural Mutual Roundtable, The Fabulous Farm Babe, Pam Jahnke, chats with Rural Mutual agents Daryl and Madeline Pulsfus on their experiences as insurance agents protecting Wisconsin farms and answering some common questions they receive from their customers.

What You Can Expect from Your Rural Mutual Agent

At Rural Mutual, our customers are more than just a policy. Daryl and Maddie Pulsfus explained that building a relationship with their potentials customers before writing business is key for them to understand what matters most to their customers.

When you go to meet with your insurance agent to discuss your coverage, here are some things Maddie and Daryl say you can expect or have prepared to make the meeting as effective as possible: 

  • Your agent should start an evaluation of your farm, business, or home which will help ensure you have the right amount of coverage in place.
  • One way you can make this process easier is by having an updated copy of your current policy on hand during the meeting. Ideally the policy documents will highlight what your current building limits are, cattle count, etc. so the agent has a starting point for the evaluation. 
  • The evaluation should also include appraisals for rebuilding in the event of a claim. With Wisconsin weather as unpredictable as it is, Daryl stressed the importance of including building valuation and cosmetic valuations in policies, so the insurers could be covered if they are hit with a bad hailstorm or suffer damage from snow loads in the winter.

Things You Might Not Know About Insurance

Rural Mutual offers a variety of insurance products to their customers. Having the right coverage and policy can make your life easier if you ever need to file a claim. Some of the questions Daryl and Maddie are often asked include:

  • How is my policy affected by inflation? It’s best to check with your insurance agent and review your policy to make sure you are still properly covered. Today, inflation has caused the values of buildings, roofs, and other materials to skyrocket which could affect your policy.
  • What are some coverages that are important but not often thought about? Ingestion and equipment coverages are some of the most important ones. If an essential piece of equipment breaks down or ingests a damaging object such as a rock, having this type of coverage can help keep the farm and business running smoothly. With agriculture technology evolving every year, cyber insurance is also worth looking into so your farm is fully protected.
  • How can insurance help you with succession planning? Taking the time to invest in life insurance and setting your farm up in a trust can save your family from a headache in the long run. “The biggest thing with a trust is that you avoid probate. You can handle things, you have power of attorney, you have power of medical, and then we fund that with life insurance.”, Daryl explained. “We’ve found that our farmers feel so much more secure knowing that their trust is in place and funded correctly.” Life insurance will not only help fund the trust, but it will keep your farm running even if your entire family doesn’t stay on the farm. Daryl added, “No one has ever asked me why I wrote that much life insurance. It was always why didn’t I write more life insurance.”

What questions should I be asking about my policy? Daryl and Maddie encourage everyone to look at their policy annually and have another set of eyes look it over as well. You might learn something new regarding coverages that you didn’t know before. Are you covered if you lost your source of income? Do you have liability coverage? Check into these questions now to make sure you are protected if you ever need to file a claim.

Reach out to your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent to review your insurance policy and make sure it has the coverage you need today.

Listen to the full Rural Mutual Roundtable with Daryl and Maddie Pulsfus, Insurance Agents, below. Daryl and Maddie share what it’s like to be a Rural Mutual Insurance Agent in the state of Wisconsin and the questions they face when in the field.