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Protect agritourism ventures with proper liability coverage

Protect agritourism ventures with proper liability coverage

From dairy farms scooping up added interest with on-site creameries to pick-your-own orchards and berry patches, agritourism has become popular on many Virginia farms.

As the weather warms up for springtime agritourism activities, it’s time for farm owners to determine which activities are covered under their farmowner insurance policies.

When hosting guests on a farm, it’s important for members to know that a farmowner policy does not automatically provide liability coverage for common activities. Farm tours, corn mazes, hayrides, festivals and similar attractions may not be covered.

Scott DeNoon, farm product and underwriting manager for Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., said farmowner policies must either be endorsed or include a separate liability policy to cover specific agritourism activities. The base of most farmowner policies will only provide coverage for crop and livestock production, and the operation of a roadside stand or farmers markets that primarily sell a farmer’s own unprocessed goods.

“The importance of policyholders engaged in agritourism making their agent and insurance company aware of all activities they are involved in cannot be overemphasized,” DeNoon said. “It is essential to make sure proper coverage is in place.”

In most cases, policies can be endorsed for an additional premium to provide the necessary coverage. VFBMIC can accommodate a variety of agritourism exposure under a farmowner policy, and a call to your Farm Bureau insurance agent can help identify any gaps in liability coverage.

“Farm Bureau has resources available to assist policyholders in the design of insurance programs tailored to their agritourism operations,” DeNoon said. “We can offer advice that will create a safe experience for all agritourism participants.”