Archive for Agribusiness
Agritainment and agritourism occurs when a farm opens itself to the general public for tours and events that revolve around farm activities. Common examples are hayrides, pumpkin patch mazes and corn mazes but the events can be much more elaborate and extensive. These activities were once covered as part of a farmowners policy, but as they increase in complexity, they are being excluded from the basic policy and must be separately covered.
Aquaculture & Hydroponic Farming
Aquaculture operations or marine farming is similar to other farming operations. However, it has unique and unusual exposures. Flood and windstorm coverage is available through various insurance pools, while private insurers provide other property and liability coverage. Unique exposures include disease and contamination of fish, shellfish, and shrimp crops during cultivation.
Custom Harvesting Operations
Coverage is available to insureds that perform, under a written contract or agreement, farming or harvesting operations for others for a fee.. Because unendorsed farmer’s personal liability insurance or farmowners policies provide only incidental coverage for this exposure, additional coverage must be purchased when the insured’s receipts exceed the typical allowed amount of $5,000.
Farm Feed, Fertilizer, Seed and Supplies
Dealers that handle feed, fertilizer, seed and farm supplies make up a specialized class of retail or wholesale businesses that serve the agribusiness and farm market. Some dealers that sell fertilizer also contract with farmers for its application, which can significantly add to the exposure. Seed and grain silos are subject to explosions. Feed and seed mixing can present significant product liability exposures. Theft of liquid and solid fertilizer is a significant property exposure.
Farm Implement Dealers
Farm implement dealers are similar to automobile and recreational vehicles dealers but with some important differences. The equipment they handle is often larger, more expensive, and may be deadly if not properly safeguarded. This equipment is built to last many years and is often serviced by the farmer with the dealer providing service on difficult repairs. These dealers may also sell used equipment.
Farm Labor Contractors
These contractors recruit and employ farm workers to harvest crops for others. They are responsible for all labor-related human resource issues, including compliance with the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection (MSAWP) Act. The contractors provide transportation to and from the fields and often provide housing, clothing, protective gear, food, and other services to the workers.
Insurance programs for horticultural risks target florists, garden centers, nurseries, landscapers, fruit and vegetable farms, greenhouses, farmers markets, and pick-your-own operations. In addition to property and general liability coverages, other optional coverages available include florists or horticulture errors or omissions; payment of damages for the insured’s negligent acts, errors, or omissions; pollution liability for pesticides and fertilizers; and pollution cleanup. Other optional coverages include increased business personal property seasonal limits, accounts receivable, and different money limits before and after holidays. Errors and omissions coverage is usually subject to a deductible.
Nurseries make up a special class of agribusinesses and require tailor-made insurance coverages to insure their individual and unique exposures. Nurseries sell trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants on either a retail or wholesale basis. Many nurseries also perform landscaping services for home owners, apartment complexes, and businesses. A few enterprising nurseries employ landscape architects to design landscaping projects. These risks need coverage for liability exposures and greenhouse operations. Pollution coverage is required if pesticides and herbicides are used on or off premises to care for and maintain nursery stock. There is an additional pollution hazard if there are aboveground or underground storage tanks or drums of chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Workers compensation is a difficult exposure due to lifting and moving heavy trees and shrubbery and pruning operations, as well as exposure to various chemical compounds. Commercial fleets or trucks and other equipment may also present unusual exposures. Crop insurance is usually handled in conjunction with federal crop insurance programs.
Seed Merchants E&O
This coverage protects seed growers, seed dealers, wholesalers, seed packagers, seed brokers, and other individuals or firms that handle seeds against claims that arise from errors or omissions in germination tests, failure to germinate, mislabeling of seeds, and similar claims. Rating is based on the types of seeds handled. A distinction is made between regular garden seeds and field seeds such as corn, wheat, oats, etc. Without this important coverage, there would be gaps in the seed handlers’ products liability coverage.
Tree Service Liability
Tree service companies have hazardous liability exposures. They include tree surgery, spraying insecticides and pesticides, removing the wrong tree, and removing stumps. Bystanders may be injured by falling limbs and tree trunks. Damage to property of others may occur when the tree service trims branches or removes trees.