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Livestock insurance is often bundled into a farm insurance policy, although you may also be able to buy certain types of protection for animals on their own. Either way, this important insurance coverage helps farmers and ranchers recover from financial losses if their livestock are lost due to sickness, accidents, or a natural disaster.
If you raise cattle, alpacas, sheep, horses, or other animals as part of your business, you should learn about the types of livestock insurance available as well as the companies that offer this coverage. We compared many of the best livestock insurance providers that offer policies to help you along.
Best Overall: American Family Insurance
Why We Chose It: You can choose from blanket coverage for your livestock or pick and choose individual animals that need a higher level of protection. Full farm coverage and liability are also offered.
Tailor your livestock coverage to your individual animals or your total farm needs
Broad selection of animals can be covered
Work with a local agent to create a policy with ultimate protection
Doesn't cover death by natural causes
American Family Insurance only offers coverage in 19 states
Average rating in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study
Since its inception in 1927 as Farmers Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, American Family Insurance has grown to become one of the most popular providers of homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and other insurance products. This company also reports an A rating from AM Best for its financial strength, which means you can rest assured your claims will be paid.
In terms of the company's livestock and cattle insurance coverage, American Family Insurance stands out due to the flexibility of its policies. You can purchase blanket coverage for all your livestock, and also opt for unscheduled coverage that lets you provide a higher level of protection for high-value animals. A broad selection of animals can also be included in your policy, including cattle, buffalo, alpacas, emus, llamas, horses, goats, and more. Generally speaking, covered events include accidents, most natural disasters, weather events, crimes and civil unrest, and collisions during transit.
While you can begin building an online quote for livestock insurance on the American Family website, this company also lets you work with an agent in your area. Note that American Family Insurance only offers coverage in 19 states, so availability depends on where you live. As of March 2021, the states where coverage is available include Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Best Specialty Livestock Insurance: The Hartford
Why We Chose It: The Hartford made our ranking due to its broad selection of livestock insurance options for various animals and agriculture businesses. For example, it offers specific coverage for hatcheries, ocean marine transit, poultry, swine, and more.
Broad selection of coverage options
Excellent ratings in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study
Work directly with a livestock insurance agent
No licensed agents in Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, or the District of Columbia
The Hartford was founded in 1810 and boasts an A+ rating for financial strength from AM Best. The company also earned the second spot in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study with 896 out of 1,000 possible points.
You can work with an independent agent to buy livestock insurance from The Hartford in most states, and this company stands out due to the many types of specialized coverage it offers. For example, you can purchase specific coverage for hatcheries, ocean marine transit, poultry, or confined swine. Its high-value animal coverage can also be extended to cover police and service dogs or animals used specifically for breeding. Horse insurance is also offered and may include coverage for mortality and major medical expenses.
Best Worldwide Coverage: AXA XL
Why We Chose It: AXA XL offers worldwide livestock insurance for farmers who may transport production animals, exotic animals, or embryos and semen across international borders. This specialty coverage is available to both private and public companies, including individual farmers who ship animals or certain animal products abroad.
Worldwide, multi-use coverage available
Access to biosecurity risk consultants
Agents who sell AXA XL operate in all 50 states
Cannot bundle in a farm insurance policy
AXA XL was founded in 1986 and offers an array of products and services in 200 countries and territories. Its network of companies around the world also boasts an A+ rating from AM Best for financial strength, which should provide you with peace of mind since this provider is not quite a household name.
In terms of livestock coverage, AXA XL helps farmers worldwide protect against mortality, infertility, disease, and theft. Industry experts can help you tailor coverage to protect production animals like sheep, cattle, poultry, or pigs. You can also purchase protection for alpacas, deer, and exotic animals for zoos. International insurance coverage protects against losses of embryos and semen, which are often an important component of an animal agriculture business.
Coverage from AXA XL also comes with unrivaled claims service and access to biosecurity risk consultants. This company also offers broker seminars and training sessions, which help its independent agents gain a full understanding of the insurance products on offer.
Best for Comprehensive Farm Coverage: Nationwide
Why We Chose It: Nationwide's AgriChoice farm insurance lets you protect your farm from losses while adding on coverage for cows, bulls, swine, goats, lambs, and other livestock in your care.
Livestock insurance offered as part of a comprehensive farm insurance plan
Broad protection for cattle, including for accidental shootings
Individual, blanket, and herd coverage available
Cannot purchase standalone coverage for animals
Not available in all 50 states
Nationwide Insurance was originally founded in 1926 as Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. It has grown immensely since then and is now a popular provider of farm insurance, homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and other financial products. Nationwide also has an A+ rating for financial strength from AM Best and scored above average in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study.
Nationwide's livestock insurance is available as an add-on to its AgriChoice farm insurance policy. This means you can get full protection for your farm as well as protection from liability, but you can also tack on specialty insurance for livestock in your care.
Nationwide lets you insure individual animals, your herd, or your entire farm property in one policy. Its cattle insurance protection is also incredibly broad, with perils like accidental shootings, earthquakes, electrocutions, and floods covered. Nationwide also lets you work directly with one of its farm agents to build your policy, although coverage is not available in every state.
If you are a farmer or you have an animal agriculture business, buying livestock insurance is an absolute must. Not only will you protect the investment you have made in your animals, but you can gain considerable peace of mind as well.
With that being said, it's crucial to compare livestock insurance companies based on their offerings, company reputation, and pricing before you move forward. The best livestock insurance policy for you will depend on your particular situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Livestock Insurance Cost?
The cost of livestock insurance can vary widely depending on the animals you raise, where you live, the size of your herd, and other factors. Plan on getting two or three quotes for livestock insurance before you move forward with a policy.
What Is Cattle Insurance?
Some livestock insurance companies have specialty cattle insurance coverage that is tailored specifically to this type of farming. For example, some plans include protection against dairy revenue decline.
How We Chose the Best Livestock Insurance
We looked at many of the top livestock insurance companies available today in order to find providers that offer superior coverage. Factors we considered include J.D. Power rankings, AM Best ratings for financial strength, products offered, and customer service options. We gave preference to livestock providers that offer coverage as broadly as possible, as well as those that let you work directly with farm agents who are especially knowledgeable in this industry.