t would be difficult to find someone more cautious
than Harvey Wood, a third generation Arizona cotton and
citrus farmer. In more than 30 years of farming, he never
had an accident.
Harvey was cautious about his financial affairs too. Shortly
after marrying his high school sweetheart, Sandy, he bought
life insurance to make sure she’d always be protected. Over
time, Harvey realized that his coverage hadn’t kept up with
growing needs. He and Sandy now had young children and the
farm was expanding. That’s when Harvey met with insurance
agents, Bryan Buzzard and Bob Sapanaro. After their
comprehensive financial needs analysis, he took their
advice and significantly increased his coverage.
Still, there were years when crops were ruined
and Harvey didn’t know how he could afford the
premiums. Knowing how much Harvey needed the
coverage, his agents discussed with him how to use
the cash values in his whole life policy to keep the
insurance in force.
Several years later, Harvey, 50, was refilling a
fertilizer tank in front of a tractor when it slipped
into gear and killed him. Sandy and the kids were
devastated, but there was hardly time to grieve.
They quickly realized that the world wouldn’t stop
simply because tragedy had struck. The crops and
the bills kept growing. “We owed hundreds of thou-
sands of dollars," says Sandy. “I kept thinking, ‘this
farm has been in our family for generations, I can’t
lose it now.’"
But that’s why Harvey had purchased and kept
the additional life insurance. With it Sandy paid off
the farm debt, college loans, the mortgage and credit card
bills. Today, the family is thriving. Sandy handles the
business side of the farm, while her son, H.C., manages the
“Our life is forever different without Harvey," says
Sandy, “but because he cared so much and bought the life
insurance, our way of life hasn’t changed."
Borrowing against a policy’s cash value to pay premiums will reduce the cash
value and death benefit, but can keep a policy in force in difficult times.
Planning Rescues a Farm
Insuring Your Most Valuable Farm Asset . . . You!
The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart
insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ financial futures. © 2007 LIFE. All rights reserved.
he most important asset on any family farm is not the equipment
or the livestock or even the land. It's the farmer. Would your
family business survive if something were to happen to you.
Smar t insurance planning can help ensure that it will.
Life insurance proceeds can pay off your far m's debts, giving
your survivors precious time to decide how to move forward. If
they sell the far m, they'll have the freedom to seek the best
price rather than settle for less in a distressed sale.
Disability insurance provides replacement income if you
become injured or sick and are unable to work the far m for
a period of time.
A buy-sell agreement allows surviving par tners to buy out
your share of the business at a fair price using life or disability
Key person insurance provides the farm owner with the financial
flexibility to hire a replacement when a key employee dies.
Agents Bob Sapanaro (center) and Bryan Buzzard (far right), with client
Sandy Wood (second from right) and her children