Disability for Farmers
Farmers are revered as the backbone of America, and what they do is vital for society to function properly. However, it is a profession that often comes with a great deal of risk due to the physical labor it demands. We always hope that accidents will not happen, but even the most careful of farmers may find themselves injured at some point. With any disability, be it permanent or temporary, insurance is one of the best ways to protect yourself financially should you find yourself unable to work for an extended period of time.
What is Disability Insurance?
Disability insurance (DI) helps provide an income for you should you become injured and unable to perform the tasks of your job for a period of time. You can also take out plans that would help you replace your income until age 67 should you become permanently disabled. The general guideline for most DI plans is that they will replace about 60% of your income. In order to qualify for general DI plans, you have to provide income information so that the carrier knows how much they should allow you to apply for.
Why is DI important?
Disability insurance is a coverage option many people overlook when planning what parts of their life they want to insure, but it is arguably the most important. We insure a number of important aspects of our lives, such as our homes, our cars and even our lives themselves, but disability insurance covers something very different. It insures your income, your ability to have a livelihood. Insuring other aspects of our lives is important and in some cases mandatory, for example car insurance and homeowners insurance. However, insuring our income is what gives us certainty and peace of mind knowing we will be able to pay for the home and vehicle we need in life.
Insuring our income is extremely important and it is too often disregarded. There are risks everywhere on farms, from equipment to livestock, and while farmers are incredibly experienced working around these risks, accidents do happen. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2009 there were 42,000 work related injuries that occurred on farms.* Farm related injuries can often be serious enough to keep a farmer from working for months or even indefinitely. That is a long time for a family to go without an income the farmer is used to providing.
Plans Designed with Farmers in Mind
There are plans designed specifically for farmers because farming presents unique financial situations. The majority of farmers are self-employed. Most DI plans look at income after taxes and deductions for the self-employed when deciding how much replacement income someone can apply for. Farmers however tend to show very little or no income after submitting their taxes, which would render them ineligible for a typical disability policy.
With DI products specifically designed for farmers you would not have to show income in order to qualify. The amount of coverage a farmer can qualify for is determined by livestock, land or a combination of both. For example, with one carrier we work with regularly, if you own 200 acres of land you could qualify for $1500 a month, 350 acres would qualify you for $2000, and 500 acres could qualify you for $2500. If you were to go by heads of cattle, that would be $1500 for 24-49 cows, $2000 for 50-74 cows and $2500 for over 75 cows. This will not replace the entirety of your income of course, but it is a good way to make sure there will always be an income for you and your family regardless of what happens.
Insuring your income allows you to have peace of mind working in the fields knowing if something should happen to you, you and your family would still have an income to help cover your expenses until you were able to resume work.
If you are interested in looking into a disability plan for yourself you can call us at 1-800-669-3959 and we will help you find an agent near you.
*National Agricultural Statistics Service, Agricultural Statistics Board, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Safety: 2009 Injuries to Adults on Farms, May 2013.