• Tanner Coulter

Farm Pollution.. Are you Exposed??

A major issue that is often overlooked by farmers is pollution coverage. Growing up on a large swine farm I was aware of the risks involved with pollution. I heard my family continually express the need to be careful when spreading or knifing in manure. However, livestock farmers are not the only ones running the risk of having a large bill due to pollution. This can also be caused by fertilizers, chemicals, fuel, or poor irrigation practices.

The risk exposure that farmers face can be substantial. From site cleanup, testing, ongoing monitoring, loss of use on that farm, lawsuits, & more. If you experience a pollution issue, it won’t take long to surpass the typical $10,000 of pollutant removal & cleanup coverage on farm policies. Claims can easily get into the upper five or six figures especially with larger spills. According to Environmental Research Letters in 2014 the total farm pollution cost was $157B. Not to mention, federal regulations deem the farmer responsible for pollutant cleanup.

Public Exposure

As most of the farming community already knows, when a pollution accident occurs it creates a great deal of public exposure. Especially as local activist groups react to these accidents and push their agenda. In today’s world with social media, news travels faster than ever. And even with a solid risk management plan and controls in place, it only takes one mistake to cause an accident.

Farm Pollution Liability Insurance

We advise all farmers to consider adding higher pollution cleanup and liability coverages to their policy. Give your agent a call as most carriers will offer you more coverage than standard farm policies offer. Another option is to buy stand-alone pollution coverage that is independent of your farm policy. Some policies will give you up to $1,000,000 of additional coverage. Make sure to understand how much coverage you have for both on-premise and off-premise pollution. The best advice we can give... educate, educate, educate yourself.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

(Environmental Research Letters, 2014,

(Photo by Jeff Vanugam.)

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