Advice about safer farming from the claim ﬁles of American Family Insurance
Post hole digger becomes
Claims involving moving equipment mishaps are all too common
A farmer and his hired hand were digging post holes one
cool morning, just like they’d done on several other days.
The job was second nature, they both knew it so well.
The farmer backed his tractor into place with the helper’s
instructions, engaged the digger through the tractor’s
power takeoff, and the worker lowered the swirling auger.
implement. The machinery may
I t was so cut and dried, the
farmer wasn’t even looking back
when he heard a desperate shriek
have had the guard removed, been
attached improperly, or might even
from his helper. The farmer whirled have been too old to have adequate
around to see the man lashed by guards. The hired hand could have
the cord of his hooded sweatshirt been a friend, family member or
to the spinning drive train of the the farmer himself.
power takeoff, ﬁghting for his life. Whatever the facts, one thing
The farmer instantly turned off the never changes: someone’s life can
machine, but not before the helper be ruined. In this case, it is not only
suffered multiple serious injuries. the hired hand who was hurt, but
This is one version of a type of the farmer who faces potential
claim we receive all too frequently: ﬁnancial ruin because he didn’t
injuries from moving parts on farm report important changes in his
equipment. The post hole digger farming practice that affected his
could have been almost any other insurance coverage (see below).
“I should have known better...”
“I can’t tell you how much we our adjuster suggests to, “Ask or Dad’s sweatshirt on a youngster
hear this from farmers after an yourself whether your life is worth have all contributed to accidents in
equipment accident,” says an a few extra minutes to replace the our claim ﬁles.
American Family claims adjuster. safety equipment.” Sometimes the clothing rips away
“People are in a hurry when they’re Also, wearing extremely loose before someone is seriously hurt;
planting or harvesting, and they clothing with hanging strings or other times the victim is less fortunate.
sometimes neglect safety for the cords around moving machinery Insist on some work clothes for each
sake of saving a little time.” can be dressing for disaster. family member and farm worker
On the power takeoff, for example, Drawstrings, oversized T-shirts that are comfortable but won’t be
a joint on the shaft might fail during and shorts popular with teenagers, hazardous around farm machinery.
a busy season. The machine’s guard
is removed for repairs but may not
be reattached in the rush to get
Seasons change — so can coverage needs
back to the ﬁeld. It can always be
An injury to you or a co-worker is bad enough, but it can
done later, the farmers say, when
there’s more time. Often, “later” be compounded if your coverage doesn’t keep up with
never comes. Removing but not your farming operations.
replacing safety equipment is not When the farmer described above reported his accident, he discovered
only dangerous; it increases your two serious gaps in his liability coverage. First, it is important to make
liability if an accident happens. sure that if you hire employees, your payroll is accurately reﬂected in the
declarations on your insurance policy. The farmer had hired help for
Ag safety experts suggest that
years, but hadn’t updated his policy since the days when he worked the
farmers do a quick double-check farm himself.
of the safety equipment on their
American Family’s Farm/Ranch policy provides automatic Employers
machinery before each use. Make
Liability coverage for any employee injury as long as your total payroll
sure that all safety guards are doesn’t exceed $2,500 during your policy year. If it does, be sure to
properly installed on your equip- tell your agent so your coverage can be adjusted. Remember, for
ment. Obtain guards for older insurance purposes, the year begins on the same date as your policy.
equipment that might not be The post hole-digging farmer also had not informed his agent
properly protected. Implement about the rented ﬁeld he was working when the accident happened.
dealers or your county agent can Your liability coverage extends to the land you declare in your policy.
answer safety questions you might If you purchase or rent additional farm land, be sure you tell your
have. If a machine needs repair agent so he or she can update your policy and assure protection.
during the height of a busy season,
u t l yo u have p-to-datem
a cl i
Don’t waitour nsuirance coverage is u
to make your taxes. Si
’re preparing s
1 When you uring out your yearly expense
g on you’re already
the ﬁrst thin wages, new eq
Since insurance is hardly any for areas su ch as outside quickly
y seasons, m ntals, you can
d s during bus and land ac quisitions or re it needs
farmers’ min e when they’r
k your policy
to see whether
w their coverag chec
of them revie planning or updating.
orking, such as
not outside w es to make ing for the co
time. T wo good tim 2 When you’re budget the next
bookkeeping : op a plan for
up to date are year. You p robably devel
sure your policy is ck season that
wing or livesto d and
gro r workers, lan
estimat ed expenses fo declared
t from what is
equipmen t. If it is differen ent.
talk to your ag
on your po licy, it’s time to
t way to see th
In fact, the bes growth is
with your farm
covera ge keeps pace y yearly.
view your polic
to have your agent re at —
mily service th
It’s a no -co st American Fa
er — you can
un like the weath
American Family Insurance
6000 American Pky
Madison WI 53783
Advice about safer farming from the
claim ﬁles of American Family Insurance
6000 American Pky., Madison, WI 53783. If you have questions or would like extra copies, contact your American Family Agent.
Prevent is published for Farm/Ranch policyholders by American Family Mutual Insurance Company and its subsidiaries,
In this issue, learn to prevent:
s Injuries from moving equipment parts
Insurance gaps as your farming
Editor: Glenn Harrison, Corporate Communications