Oh, those rich farmers!! You've heard that, haven't you? The big increase in commodity prices and land values are in the paper and on the minds of our city cousins. It's an even bigger issue when the rest of the country is creeping out of a recession and agriculture is at a point of record income.
Why should this concern you? Lawsuits. As Americans we're litigation crazy. We sue for everything. And if we're going to spend money on a lawyer, or a lawyer is going to be interested in our case, we're going to sue people who have money. Who has money? Those rich farmers.
I know - when all of your money is tied up in business assets it's hard to feel rich, but that doesn't change the impression that people have. So what do we do about it?
When we host clients in our office, we run through an exercise to assess their risks. We ask questions like these:
And what about their driving records?
These are only a few of the questions we ask – but there are many. These situations can be risks, but we don't think of them that way because we see them every day. Think of the chance of a financial tragedy…
The pivot waters the road and a tractor drives up onto that highway with some dirt in the tires. Then you have mud. An inexperienced driver runs through that mud on the highway and loses control of his car. He's killed or seriously injured.
Someone comes onto your farm for a transaction. Your dog bites them. They fall on the ice, onto your dog and then your dog bites them. Injuries.
An unlicensed driver or one with a bad driving record can easily kill someone with a semi. That's tragedy enough. But in the ensuing court case it's revealed that they didn't even have a license and you failed to check on that. In fact, they didn't have a license because it had been suspended for drunken driving. The lawyer hears the sound of a cash register. Your business is in serious danger.
Of the examples listed above, most can be minimized by a simple change in procedure and/or good insurance coverage.
Connecting with an experienced and knowledgeable insurance representative and having an assessment done is a smart way to make that bull's-eye on your back much smaller.
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