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

Kakerby kakerby at aol.com
Tue Feb 19 16:12:02 EST 2013

Thanks for that Beth.  There are a lot of "oddities" about this, in terms of how it was handled. Neither the agent nor the underwriter have ever seen our property.  I've never even met the agent; all our conversations have been via phone and/or email.  So we could have the Taj Majal, the Ponderosa, or a hole in the ground and they'd never know one way or the other.  Also, the underwriter had no objections to our original application when he reviewed it two months ago.  But now he's tacking a bunch of "reasons" onto our denial which either he already knew about, or don't exist.  For instance, he cites one reason for the denial is that they don't cover eggs, poultry sales or rabbits.  Yet he was the one who issued the pre-approval months ago, after personally reviewing that we sold eggs, poultry and rabbits.  Another reason is that they don't cover wool processing and consulting, which we don't do, have never done and don't advertise as doing.  So where did that come from?  Or dog food sales, which we tried to get into, but never had a single sale, and we'd already decided not to pursue it.  So he's denying us on things we've never sold and never plan to sell, on items which aren't even listed for sale, and on items which he previously said were perfectly acceptable.  And apparently it's not a Nationwide corporate decision, or your acquaintances wouldn't have succeeded with their policy.  I'm going to refer this to our state Insurance Commissioner and ask them what our options are.  We may yet have to shop for another policy, but nothing about this cancellation adds up.
Kathryn Kerby
Snohomish, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: Beth Spaugh <lists at rhomestead.com>
To: 'Market Farming' <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tue, Feb 19, 2013 12:39 pm
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] losing insurance coverage????

You and I don’t think it shouldmatter, but what does your farm look like?  I have been told that ifbuildings are all neat, equipment stored nicely under cover, things picked up,they consider it lower risk than if it is like ours is.  Fortunately, ouragent is an hour away and hasn’t been here in a couple years.  FarmBureau in New Yorkjust switched from Farm Family to Nationwide, so if this is going onnationally, there will be some scrambling. New York has not encouraged folks to leaveFarm Family, so I don’t know how many folks have switched.  I doknow 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 theworld is used." - Wendell Berry
"Without power over our food, any notion of democracy isempty." - Frances Moore Lappe
It's not that nice guys finish last. They have a whole differentnotion 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, 20132:55 PM
To:market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [Market-farming] losinginsurance coverage????

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


Well, our situation may be changing. I just got off the phone with our agent, and our insurance policy mightbe dropped.  The underwriter has suddenly and summarily decided that theydon't want to provide coverage for a whole host of things which previouslydidn'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 sellfarming/gardening books through the website (we don't even have a farm store;all sales are through Amazon.com)

2) wool sales, processing and/orconsulting (which we don't do, but we own sheep, so by extension they can'tcover us?????)

3) the fact that we have livestockguardian dogs  (at least that one has a glimmer of reasonable riskassociated with it)

4) meat sales for ANIMAL consumption (nothuman consumption)

5)selling grains for chicken feed (which we aren't even doing yet, and have onlystarted to investigate)

This has come out of the blue and eventhe agent was really surprised and angered by this.  He has no idea whatthe motivation is.  Frankly, this stinks of Nationwide simply wanting toget out of the farm insurance biz, so they're going to make stuff up asjustification for dropping a policy.  But as of right now, Nationwidedoesn't want to cover us.  So I'm in something of a panic mode to see if Ican either appeal the decision, or find someone else to try.  We alreadytried Grange and Farm Bureau, and they turned us down without even coming outto the farm to see what we had.  We also tried Country insurance, whichcame 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 oflosing it regardless of whatever appeal we make.  What are other folksusing, and has anyone gotten any vibes from their agent that their coverage isabout to change?

Kathryn Kerby


Snohomish, WA

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