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Alvah
04-28-2009, 11:42 PM
In the U.S., what do farmers do for insurance?
Most farmers, I think, operate as small business owners.
They have equity in their land, equipment and homes, but what do they
do for health, disability and life insurance?

In my limited experience insurance is too expensive for
a single family to buy. Most people who have insurance
have it through their employer.

Farming is a moderately dangerous profession; injuries are common.
That would make health or disdability insurance even more expensive than it is for others in less dangerous lines of work.

Do farmers form co-ops, and the co-op buys insurance for its members?

Thanks,

AngelRoseDarke
04-28-2009, 11:50 PM
I live in Tennessee. The farmers around here (beef cattle and soy beans, mostly) pay their own insurance. Some companies have special programs for farmers and their families. I think Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of them. They offer coverage at a discounted rate if most of your income comes from farming.

Cyia
04-28-2009, 11:52 PM
In the U.S., what do farmers do for insurance?
Most farmers, I think, operate as small business owners.
They have equity in their land, equipment and homes, but what do they
do for health, disability and life insurance?

In my limited experience insurance is too expensive for
a single family to buy. Most people who have insurance
have it through their employer.

Farming is a moderately dangerous profession; injuries are common.
That would make health or disdability insurance even more expensive than it is for others in less dangerous lines of work.

Do farmers form co-ops, and the co-op buys insurance for its members?

Thanks,

Not all farmers own their land. My Uncle was a long time share-cropper before he started work as a ranch foreman, so the equity is non-existent. Especially when the equipment is owned by the land owner and the house is part of the deal, too. (not so much when farming, but when ranching)

And they buy their own insurance. "Farmers" is a specialty insurance company designed just for them. You pay a yearly dues fee and then the monthly cost is about the cheapest anywhere. (Google Farm Bureau Insurance).

And yes, it's exceptionally dangerous. Just for my uncle alone, he's had broken bones, severe wounds that led to massive bruises, breathing troubles from inhaling the dust when they combine, he was chronically underweight because of the jostling of the tractors. Dehydration is bad, as is heat/sunstroke (they don't call it redneck/farmer's tan for nothing). Exhaustion disorders are common. Once you get out of straight produce and add animals (which a lot of farmers, do) you can add broken bones, being gored, stomped on, smashed between a gate rammed by an angry bull and the fence the gate was part of... and then top it off with a heart attack while alone in the middle of nowhere so fast he couldn't reach his radio. They found him going in circles, slumped over the steeringwheel.

DeeCaudill
04-29-2009, 05:47 AM
Don't forget that sometimes a farmer can get group coverage through their wife's job. I work at a Midwestern college and it seems like a large percentage of the support staff seems to be doing the job for the insurance (it certainly isn't for the pay).

JrFFKacy
04-29-2009, 07:59 AM
Here in Ontario, we buy our own insurance. We also try being careful as a good way to avoid accidents/injuries (sarcasm here...lol...).

Our equipment/cattle/etc is insured as well, though my grandparents (who own the land the farm is on and think they own the farm, even though they legally only own 50%...family issues you don't want to know about) are a little crazy about insurance, so we honestly have a little too much.

Some farmers are able to insure their crops in case they have a really bad year and don't make enough to pay off the debt they've gotten into putting the crop in (a lot of cash croppers have lines of credit that they use to buy seed, fertilizer, etc at the beginning of the year, then they pay that off after they sell the crop).

My dad has disability insurance, but it's because my grandfather demanded it when they went into partnership 21 yrs ago. It's only for paying a hired man, should my dad get hurt. We're thinking about scrapping it, because dad has us three kids who are now quite old enough to handle stuff if something happened to him.

I've never heard of farmers starting co-ops to buy insurance, that seems like overkill. Farmers are considered small business owners and get very few benefits. Every time we turn around, someone's either complaining about what we do, or tossing another regulation at us. I don't like to complain, but we farmers have wondered what would happen if the grocery shelves were suddenly bare because we all quit.

And just so you know, those sky-high prices you see in the supermarket are far, far, far from what we farmers get for those products. Before BSE hit Canada, we could get upwards of $2/lb for a good veal calf. Now, we're luck to get $1/lb. We sent a calf in the worst of the BSE crisis and got $10 for it. We sent one recently, and got $40. And these are healthy, holstein bull calves that weigh between 100 and 130lbs that will be raised for veal.

O.K., I'm done soapboxing for now, but honestly, insurance is the least of our worries.

PM me if you want more info.

Kacy

MacAllister
04-29-2009, 08:02 AM
I know more farmers and ranchers without any kind of health insurance, than with, honestly. I grew up in rural Montana. Crop insurance, yes. Insurance on that prize-winning bull, maybe....but health insurance? Not usually.