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

Beth Spaugh lists at rhomestead.com
Tue Feb 19 15:38:56 EST 2013

You and I don't think it should matter, but what does your farm look like?
I have been told that if buildings are all neat, equipment stored nicely
under cover, things picked up, they consider it lower risk than if it is
like ours is.  Fortunately, our agent is an hour away and hasn't been here
in a couple years.  Farm Bureau in New York just switched from Farm Family
to Nationwide, so if this is going on nationally, there will be some
scrambling. New York has not encouraged folks to leave Farm Family, so I
don't know how many folks have switched.  I do know a startup farm that
recently got Nationwide insurance - meat, eggs, veg CSA, trying to build
creamery for cheese making and raw milk sales. 


Beth Spaugh

Rehoboth Homestead, Peru NY

http://rhomestead.com      http://www.facebook.com/rhomestead


"How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used." -
Wendell Berry

"Without power over our food, any notion of democracy is empty." - Frances
Moore Lappe

It's not that nice guys finish last. They have a whole different notion
where the finish line is. - unknown




From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Kakerby
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:55 PM
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [Market-farming] losing insurance coverage????


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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