Be prepared if you have to file an insurance claim
Think about how long accumulating your farm equipment took, and about the money you spent on each piece. If a disaster – such as a fire, flood or tornado – strikes your farm or ranch, would you be able to make a list of all of the damaged or destroyed equipment for your insurer?
Having a detailed record of each piece of equipment, including purchase date and purchase price, helps ensure your insurance company can fairly and quickly reimburse you according to your policy provisions. Many farm management software packages include inventory tools that help make the job easier - but a notebook and a file box of organized receipts can also work.
Store your inventory in a safe, off-site location, such as a safe deposit box. If your home is damaged, your records could be damaged, too. “After a disaster, it’s very chaotic and hard to think clearly,” says Jim Drummond, farm loss control consultant, Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, Des Moines, IA. “The last thing you need is to scramble around looking for essential information that’s required to file a claim.”
Other ways taking inventory may help
Additional benefits of conducting an annual equipment inventory include:
- Determining if equipment may need to be repaired
- Ensuring that your existing equipment is adequately covered when your policy renews
- Adding new equipment to your policy when it renews
While taking inventory, consider marking each piece with a permanent identification number. If your equipment is stolen, an ID number would aid law enforcement in its recovery. Use a metal engraver or stamping tool, and place the number in an inconspicuous spot.
What you need to do
Record or file the following information for each piece: