[Market-farming] Sorta OT - getting farm insurance for eggs, meat, dairy

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Thu Mar 17 09:39:32 EDT 2011

Nothing off topic about this at all.  Its an important part of our business for good for bad.

As I have stated in other threads regarding insurance, we use Westfield Insurance.  They are fantastic to work with.

We have a product liability of 2 million dollars and it covers a bale of hay, honey, or produce.  It will cover eggs if we did them.  We can add employee too which will increase the cost but its an option when we are at that stage (later this year).

We also board horses, have a huge stable (which is essentially one giant fire hazard), riding trails, hunters, farm tours and classes, and transport equipment to and from remote hay and crop sites (the transport needs to be covered incase of accident as does the actual act of farming ON another owners property), and several bee yards off farm.  All of that needs to be insured and is covered in tour current policy.  We also deal with Whole Foods Market, Biggs/Remke, Hilton Hotels and several corporate owned small restaurant chains who require certain insurance minimums as well as being named within the policy.  These companies usually require a minimum grading for the insurance company as well....usually A or A+ (if I recall correctly).

It all depends on how you do business.

As I have stated before a lot of the problems with farmers finding insurance is the lack of separation between the home and the farm.  The farm should be a business.  My suggestion is that it be an LLC or even several if you are up to the paperwork and it fits how youa re doing business (chicken operation is seperate from produce production for example).  To get decent insurance though companies want to deal with companies not homesteads where your home life co-mingles with the business in terms of liability.  Your personal and home insurers simply do not want the mess of the lack of division between the two and often times are incapable of properly insuring you or even avoid the liability associated with the business...they are in business to insure homes and families.

You need to separate the two then find a decent insurer for your business.  Not only will it save you money in the long run it also puts up a layer of protection so you do not loose everything and like it or not that can happen very easily these days.

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
rstewart at zoomtown.com

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