Are You Properly Insured?

Insurance folder_generic

When you throw agritourism into the mix, farms aren’t just farms anymore. They’re more like amusement parks, and a farm that has potentially thousands of visitors in a year will need a much different insurance policy than a farm that’s not open to the public.

Eric Toftegaard, account executive, commercial lines, for New York-based Tompkins Insurance, says it’s important for growers to understand the risks they face when opening their farms to the public. “With agritourism, you’re putting people who are not used to being around farms on your farm. Therefore, you get kids who are excited and parents who are not often used to having their kids have 10 acres to run on,” he says. “You get the normal stuff — slips and falls, which are pretty common.”

However, he adds, a lot of farms tend to “self insure” and not carry as high a limit as they should. “You’re taking two completely polar opposite things — an amusement park, which has all sorts of safety features, procedures, medical staffs, and waivers, and you’re crossing that with a farm, which typically has nobody on it, and has a lot of machinery that is big, bulky, and dangerous,” he says. It’s paramount that growers think about how much they’re worth, the risks involved in agritourism, and how much liability they might need in the event of an accident.

Make Proper Assessments
One of the biggest mistakes Toftegaard says he sees growers make in regard to their insurance policies is not properly assessing what they have. A farm that has animatronics, jumping pillows, rat wheels, and other kinds of games and rides is going to need a much different policy from a standard farm, for example.

On top of that, Toftegaard says agritourism is uncharted water for a lot of insurance companies. “It hasn’t been around for a long time, and there’s not a lot of data or research that they can go by, because it’s so new,” he says.

The best thing agritourism operators can do to make sure they’re protected, says Toftegaard, is sit down with a broker or agent who really understands the business, the culture of the people in the area, the target market for customers, and also how to help with more than just insurance. “You need someone who can tell you what information you should get if somebody falls and gets hurt — someone who knows how to create procedures and can offer advice,” he explains.

You should also be careful not to sell yourself short, Toftegaard says. “The more things you’re doing — offering cooking on the premises, for example, — that all comes with more premiums,” he says. “When you add the pumpkin cannons and jumping pillows and bring 25,000 people on your property, you’re no longer just a farm.”

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Captain Citrus running through an orange grove
CitrusFlorida Citrus Gaining Leverage For Next Growth Spurt
April 21, 2015
Amid the battles, moments of real and sustainable hope have emerged this season. Read More
Montmorency tart cherries
Stone FruitWinter Storm Surprises Utah Fruit Growers
April 20, 2015
Snow and cold temperatures threatened tart cherries already in full bloom. Read More
Stone FruitNew Product Developed To Prevent Cherry Cracking
April 20, 2015
Biofilm, developed at Oregon State University, protects fruit from rain-related losses. Read More
FruitsMarch Was The Fifth Warmest Month On Record In Washington
April 20, 2015
Wapato recorded all-time high of 80 degrees. Read More
citrus black spot symptoms
Insect & Disease UpdateCitrus Black Spot Rears Its Ugly Head Again In Southwest Florida
April 20, 2015
Recent confirmed findings of the fungal malady forces USDA-APHIS to expand regulated area. Read More
tomatoes and strawberries
BerriesScientists Seek To Save Flavor Of Tomatoes And Strawberries
April 17, 2015
A $500,000 grant will enable University of Florida researchers to focus on how light can affect the quality and taste of produce after harvest. Read More
GrapesThe Economic Impact Of Grapevine Leafroll Disease
April 17, 2015
Different control strategies are recommended depending on the prevalence of the disease in vineyard blocks. Read More
Natalie Parkell and Kevin Osburn of Vertical Horizon Farms
CitrusSmall Family Farms Can Survive [Opinion]
April 17, 2015
It is reassuring amid the corporate climate the agriculture industry has experienced in more recent times that there is still room for the little guy, and — more importantly — a need. Read More
GrapesTable Grape Commission Awarded More Funding To Study Postharvest Treatment
April 16, 2015
The research will ensure California grape exports continue uninterrupted. Read More
Tom West Blueberries family
BerriesUrban Sprawl Doesn’t Stop 4th-Generation Florida Farm From Growing
April 16, 2015
Growing in town supports the evolution of Tom West Blueberries. Read More
The Latest
Captain Citrus running through an orange grove
CitrusFlorida Citrus Gaining Leverage For Next Growth Spurt
April 21, 2015
Amid the battles, moments of real and sustainable hope have emerged this season. Read More
Montmorency tart cherries
Stone FruitWinter Storm Surprises Utah Fruit Growers
April 20, 2015
Snow and cold temperatures threatened tart cherries already in full bloom. Read More
Stone FruitNew Product Developed To Prevent Cherry Cracking
April 20, 2015
Biofilm, developed at Oregon State University, protects fruit from rain-related losses. Read More
FruitsMarch Was The Fifth Warmest Month On Record In Washingt…
April 20, 2015
Wapato recorded all-time high of 80 degrees. Read More
citrus black spot symptoms
Insect & Disease UpdateCitrus Black Spot Rears Its Ugly Head Again In Southwes…
April 20, 2015
Recent confirmed findings of the fungal malady forces USDA-APHIS to expand regulated area. Read More
tomatoes and strawberries
BerriesScientists Seek To Save Flavor Of Tomatoes And Strawber…
April 17, 2015
A $500,000 grant will enable University of Florida researchers to focus on how light can affect the quality and taste of produce after harvest. Read More
GrapesThe Economic Impact Of Grapevine Leafroll Disease
April 17, 2015
Different control strategies are recommended depending on the prevalence of the disease in vineyard blocks. Read More
Natalie Parkell and Kevin Osburn of Vertical Horizon Farms
CitrusSmall Family Farms Can Survive [Opinion]
April 17, 2015
It is reassuring amid the corporate climate the agriculture industry has experienced in more recent times that there is still room for the little guy, and — more importantly — a need. Read More
GrapesTable Grape Commission Awarded More Funding To Study Po…
April 16, 2015
The research will ensure California grape exports continue uninterrupted. Read More
Tom West Blueberries family
BerriesUrban Sprawl Doesn’t Stop 4th-Generation Florida …
April 16, 2015
Growing in town supports the evolution of Tom West Blueberries. Read More
Golden Rice
CitrusMore Social Commentators Changing Their Views On GMO Cr…
April 15, 2015
Could public opinion be swayed by evolving narration on genetic modification? Read More
EquipmentTips To Reduce Soil Compaction In The Field
April 15, 2015
Growers are encouraged to check and maintain proper tire pressure as temperature changes throughout the growing season. Read More
FruitsNew Protective Coating Available For Bee Hives
April 14, 2015
Sustainable crop management company Biobest has announced the launch of “Bee-Coat,” a new protective coating for bumblebee hives. It is Read More
Gala green tip apple bloom
Apples & PearsApple Scab Spores Begin To Emerge In Pennsylvania
April 14, 2015
Now is a good time to apply copper sprays to protect trees. Read More
FruitsRecord Low Snowpack In Washington State
April 14, 2015
Experts say snowmelt occurring earlier than expected. Read More
Crop ProtectionMore Help Needed To Track Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, …
April 14, 2015
This pest, a problem in apples, tomatoes, and other fruit in the North, has recently moved into Georgia.    Read More
NutsPart 2: Spring Weed Management Tips For Almonds: Reduce…
April 14, 2015
Follow these tips to help improve long-term efficacy of herbicides. Read More
NutsPart 2: Combating Navel Orangeworm: IPM Approaches to R…
April 14, 2015
Follow these IPM approaches to reduce unnecessary sprays and manage pyrethroid resistance. Read More