Farm Insurance Saskatchewan: Post-Harvest Need to Know

Farmers in Canada face numerous risks and challenges in their agricultural operations. One crucial aspect of protecting their livelihood is obtaining comprehensive farm insurance coverage. Whether you are a seasoned farmer or just starting in the industry, understanding the significance of farm insurance can help safeguard your business against potential losses.

Saskatchewan, known for its vast agricultural lands, experiences a busy harvest season. The latest provincial crop report for September 5th to 11th reveals that harvest in the northwest is now 39% complete, ahead of the five-year average by 30%. As farmers in Saskatchewan navigate through the harvest process, it becomes even more critical to have adequate farm insurance coverage for their storage bins. The Property that needs to be scheduled includes various equipment, buildings and any contents within them. It is important to note that these items should be specifically listed and displayed on your insurance policy. Some common types of buildings and structures that must be scheduled are: 

  • Fabric-covered buildings or structures
  • Greenhouses
  • Grain bins
  • Seed cleaning or grain handling complexes 
  • Grain dryers

When grain is stored in a temporary enclosure such as a bin ring or grain bag, it is generally not covered. However, if any loss or damage occurs due to fire, lightning, or explosion during this storage period, some insurers may provide coverage for the resulting expenses. It’s important to note that the exact wording of this coverage may vary among different insurance providers, so it’s advisable to consult with your advisor and carefully review the terms and conditions.


Grain Bins

Like other farm buildings and property, grain bins are susceptible to various risks, such as fire, fungi/spores, and damage caused by improper handling and storage practices. Farmers must be cautious about the conditions under which crops are harvested and stored to mitigate potential risks. For instance, harvesting grains during stormy seasons can increase the risk of mildew. Additionally, hay storage presents a unique risk of combustion, as it can self-ignite if not correctly managed.

Farm insurance policies usually cover harvested grain and storage bins up to the specified insurance limit indicated on your policy documents, depending on whether you have a blanket limit or an individual bin scheduled. Reviewing and ensuring that your policy adequately covers your grain bins to protect against accidents or unforeseen events is crucial. For example, a grain bin could become excessively dry, leading to an unnoticed fire that grows and spreads to neighbouring bins, rendering the stored grain unsaleable. A comprehensive farm insurance policy should cover the fair market value of the grain and the cost of replacing the grain bins minus the deductible.

Reviewing automatic extensions of your coverage

Certain policies may include provisions or extensions that expand coverage automatically so you don’t have to purchase additional coverage. For example, it may include an automatic extension for any losses or damage to insured crops from temperature or humidity changes. However, this can only be applied if the cause of damage is due to the storage facility where the produce is kept. Additionally, it may cover damage to refrigerating or cooling equipment connections, supply pipes, and power sources caused by an insured event. It is essential to understand that this provision applies solely when the insured goods are located within farm premises’ buildings, structures, bins, or enclosures.

Please be advised that individual circumstances may vary. In case of discrepancy, the documentation provided by the insurer prevails.

Reviewing Your Farm Insurance Coverage

Regularly reviewing your farm insurance coverage is vital to ensure adequate protection for your agricultural operations. We recommend reviewing your coverage every 6-8 months to account for any changes in your business and the evolving risks in the industry. Some key coverage items to assess include structures like houses, outbuildings such as sheds and workshops, the produce (grains) themselves, machinery and equipment, the income generated by your business, and liability coverage. 

Navigating the complexities of farm insurance can be overwhelming, especially with the multitude of risks and coverage options available. That’s why it’s important to work with experienced farm insurance advisors who understand the unique needs of the agricultural industry. At Harvard Western Insurance, our team of knowledgeable advisors can assist you in assessing your risk posture and developing tailored insurance solutions. With their expertise and insights into industry trends, they can guide you in selecting the most appropriate coverage to protect your farm and ensure business continuity.

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