What if I get seriously hurt by farm equipment?
Being an insurance attorney, I look first at what your insurance policy and apply that scenario. You are not going to have an automobile policy covering farming accidents.
If it is a commercial farm you are probably going to have a CGL (Commercial General Liability) policy to cover all of the liability that is inherent with farming accidents.
If I was representing an individual who got hurt in a farming accident, I would also look to the owner of the farm, who I hope was responsible enough to have purchased a farm policy that has liability coverage.
What if the farm does not have liability insurance?
There is no requirement that I can think of statutorily, but the farmer may have purchased a home with the farm and most likely will take out a mortgage. In that scenario, every mortgage company requires their collateral to be insured. That is part of the requirement for getting the loan.
If they don’t have insurance in place for the farmer/homeowner, there should be a farm policy on there because there is a mortgage on that policy. Even though it is not required statutorily, it should be on that policy.
The mortgage company is looking for their own interests, mostly for property coverage. They are looking for, if the house burns down, they want to repair it so they get the value back of the mortgage that they put into it; their risk. But, most farm policies nowadays or ranch policies are like homeowners’ policies, which are more than one type of coverage. It’s property coverage, and it is also liability coverage, and within that liability coverage, hopefully there are enough limits to compensate for the injury.
A basic homeowner’s insurance policy may be an option for someone who is injured under that scenario unless they’ve purchased the wrong insurance coverage, such as one with exclusions such as for motor vehicles under a homeowner’s policy.
If that individual purchased a homeowner’s policy, but there is an exclusion for tractors, then the farmer hopefully will have bought a farm or ranch policy to make sure there is coverage.
Assuming that he went to the agent, and he purchased the correct insurance, then there should be liability coverage for the tractor because the agent knew what kind of business he was in, was told he was planning to have a farm, so he would have purchased the correct type of coverage.
If not, then that farmer may have a claim against their insurance agent for failure to procure proper insurance coverage.
Does my uninsured motorists’ coverage protect me as a pedestrian who is hit by a tractor on a farm?
It depends on the language of the policy. If it says they will pay damages that an insured is entitled to for damages from the owner/operator of an uninsured motor vehicle, but it depends on the language of the policy.