As storms hit more businesses than you may think need insurance

Expert suggests people often fail to think about some of the valuable members of the supply chain

As storms hit more businesses than you may think need insurance

Catastrophe & Flood

By Sam Boyer

The severe winter snow storm that tore through the central Great Plains and Rockies has highlighted the importance of insurance for all links in the agriculture supply chain.

The winter snow storm wreaked havoc on farmland from the Texas panhandle to Nebraska, while also dumping up to 30 inches of snow in hard-hit south-eastern Colorado.

In Colorado, it’s believed as many as 10,000 cattle died in the blizzard, while crops were decimated in northwest Oklahoma, western Kansas, eastern Colorado and southwest Nebraska.

Jack Coleman, vice president of Midlands Management, which covers a lot of hay and grain crops, said he was expecting “a light loss” from the storm.

“It’s still blanketed in snow at this point, but we’re anticipating a light loss from that particular storm – but it was horrible for a lot of other folks, namely our ranchers with the livestock and such,” he said.

Claims following a major storm like this always differ, Coleman said, as some farmers love to claim often and others will avoid making claims: “Every ranch, every farm, every situation seems to be different,” he noted.

But the claims will cover everything, he said, from the crops and cattle, to building damages, auto loss, lost animals, general liability cover for animal damage on other properties, personal property, living expenses, power outages.

What people often fail to think about, though, are downstream pieces of the chain. Coleman said many agri-businesses will also have suffered from this storm.

“We tend to sit there and think about the farmer and the rancher but the agri-business that is affected by this is another area that often goes unmentioned and it’s unfortunate, because you have your cheese manufacturing, your flour milling, your fruit and storage distributors, grain elevators, stock auction barns, farm supply stores, cotton gins, they all are affected due to this as well. So there is a lot of loss potential in those agri-business areas,” he said.

“I’m interested in [these overlooked companies] because I see their losses too.”

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