[Market-farming] losing insurance coverage????

Kakerby kakerby at aol.com
Tue Feb 19 14:54:33 EST 2013

We have talked here before about insurance coverage for the farm.  During those conversations, I have written about how happy I was with Nationwide, after searching far and wide to find coverage.  Other companies either wouldn't talk to us, or would summarily declare that they don't cover most farm activities, such as egg sales, meat sales, etc.  Too 'risky'.

Well, our situation may be changing.  I just got off the phone with our agent, and our insurance policy might be dropped.  The underwriter has suddenly and summarily decided that they don't want to provide coverage for a whole host of things which previously didn't raise an eyebrow.  Not only are eggs and meat now "suspect", but they're also objecting to off the wall stuff like:
1) the fact that we sell farming/gardening books through the website (we don't even have a farm store; all sales are through Amazon.com)
2) wool sales, processing and/or consulting (which we don't do, but we own sheep, so by extension they can't cover us?????)
3) the fact that we have livestock guardian dogs  (at least that one has a glimmer of reasonable risk associated with it)
4) meat sales for ANIMAL consumption (not human consumption)
5) selling grains for chicken feed (which we aren't even doing yet, and have only started to investigate)

This has come out of the blue and even the agent was really surprised and angered by this.  He has no idea what the motivation is.  Frankly, this stinks of Nationwide simply wanting to get out of the farm insurance biz, so they're going to make stuff up as justification for dropping a policy.  But as of right now, Nationwide doesn't want to cover us.  So I'm in something of a panic mode to see if I can either appeal the decision, or find someone else to try.  We already tried Grange and Farm Bureau, and they turned us down without even coming out to the farm to see what we had.  We also tried Country insurance, which came out to the farm, wasted three hours of my time, and THEN turned us down.  Nationwide was our last hope, and apparently we're at decent risk of losing it regardless of whatever appeal we make.  What are other folks using, and has anyone gotten any vibes from their agent that their coverage is about to change?
Kathryn Kerby
Snohomish, WA
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