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Financial Conversations with Fitz #111 - Understanding Insurance Liability with your working farm working partner - 06/12/2012

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Well, we had lots of noise but not much rain!  We could sure use some.  Travled East this weekend to NE Iowa.  Crops look good over there but the beans are spotty like ours waiting for moisture.   Grain markets showed a moisture rally most of last week.    Be observant if we do get lots of rains with the markets.    Doesn’t look like much for about 10 days now.   Sounds like Spain getting a “bail out or not”  will strengthen the DOW opening this morning.    I visited our local FSA office on Thursday to do some paperwork for a client.   They were full at the counter with certification by producers.   Be sure you get in before the last week of June 30th.    Not much news on the farm bill.  Sounds like some high level “ behind closed doors” planning in Washington.  Did you remember our veterans last week with Normandy June 6th, 1944?  Had some good discussion on our topic last week on “accounting for small non profits.”  Had headline news again in NE Iowa last week on the same problem.  Be sure to give us a call if you have thoughts or questions.

How can this topic be part of an investment or financial news?  There have been quite a few news stories in our insurance publications and local news papers on the risks of having a dog bite someone.  I just want to mention some points that if you have a dog you may want to clarify with your agent.   Iowa is a ‘strict liability’ state for dog bites - You don’t get one ‘free’ bite.   If your dog bites someone you are liable unless trespass or criminal intent is involved.   Read a recent article in farm magazine how valuable the dog was to the livestock operation.   Be sure you are aware of the four or five breeds that require special attention because of their history.   Some brief stats according to the Independent Insurance publication:  4.5 million bites nationally, 900,000 of them require medical attention.  The average figure for medical expenses is over $24,000.  More than a third of homeowners claims in 2008 were for dog bites.   Now most dog bites are not in that category.  Most of your homeowners policies have a medical coverage of $5,000 that will cover most of them.  Be sure you have the person checked if you think there should be some care for your sake and the victim’s potential health problems.  Also be comfortable that there wasn’t rabies involved.   Your veterinarian and medical should be the guide on this.  A large group that I don’t feel is adequately insured is our renters that own dogs and don’t have renters insurance - Check with us on that.   There are many statistics I could give you to support my concern but just google insurance sites or the legal system or our agents can help you out there  if you have a dog.    Our agents can be reached in any of our three offices or by phone at any of our offices.    Look over your policy before you call.

    Things are progressing with clean up in Tyke.    The drawings are in place for our new bank.

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations that when they put something together for you that they will be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.