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MARSHFIELD, WI

Insurance companies are becoming more involved in farm safety, as revealed in a survey by the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.

You might think liability drives the increased interest in farm safety, but it is not the top reason, according to the survey results and discussions with insurance professionals.

'Our company has been promoting farm safety for several years, because working to help keep children safe on farms is the right thing to do,' said Eric Vanasdale, senior loss control representative at Country Financial, Bloomington, IL.

More than 75 percent of insurance professionals indicated that they felt their clients would be pleased if they supported child farm safety programs, according to a survey given at the 2015 National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) Agricultural Risk Inspection School in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The survey assessed current practices and future opportunities to promote childhood ag injury prevention. Ninety-six of 170 attendees (loss control specialists, underwriters, managers and supervisors) completed the survey. Additional highlights:

· 85 percent of respondents indicated they communicate safety messages to farmers.

· 83 percent adjust premiums based on loss control surveys.

· 75 percent want to strengthen their company's focus on child ag safety.

The survey also revealed that insurance professionals believed they would need additional farm safety resources in the future, and identified the topics they felt would be most important to address, including ATVs, operating tractors and skid steers, working with animals, agritourism, and extra riders on farm equipment.

'When talking with insurance personnel, however, many were unsure where to find the information and resources they need,' said Marsha Salzwedel, survey co-author and National Children's Center youth safety specialist. 'I was happy to tell them that we could help.'

The National Children's Center offers free safety resources, and will work with interested insurance companies to provide information, resources and any other materials they need, Salzwedel said.

For more information, and for copies of the survey results, contact the National Children's Center, NCCRAHS@mcrf.mfldclin.edu, 1-800-662-6900.

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