Farmers Market Insurance Montana Policy Information
Farmers Market Insurance Montana. As more and more Americans are becoming health-conscious and more aware of the importance of healthy eating, they are relying more on locally grown food. While there would be nothing better than stopping by a local farm and picking up fresh produce, for many people, that isn't a possibility. What's the solution? - A farmers market.
Farmers markets deal in a wide variety food and other products, and may earn a significant part of their income by renting booth space to other dealers. Farm produce, canned or packaged food items may be sold. There may be a restaurant or snack bar on premises. The dealer may provide pickup and delivery of goods.
These markets offer a wide selection of produce - as well as other freshly made foods (cheese, yogurt, baked goods, etc), which are produced by farmers. While farmers markets are wonderful alternatives to chain grocery stores, there are certain risks that are associated with running one or renting space at one. If you're thinking about starting one of these markets, or you're a farmer who is planning on renting a booth at one, it's important that you protect yourself from potential risks. What's the best way to do that? - Investing in the right type of farmers market insurance Montana.
Farmers market insurance Montana protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Is Farmers Market Insurance Important?
Interaction with the general public and protection of your property are the two primary reasons why farmers market insurance Montana is so important. Whenever you do business with the public, there are certain risks; a shopper could trip and fall over a vendor's table, sustain an injury, and file a lawsuit against the owner of the market, the vendor - or both. Property could be damaged in the wake of a flood, a fire, or as the result of an act of vandalism. An employee could be injured while working at a farmers market and require medical care.
These are just some of the risks that are associated with a farmers market. If you are a proprietor of the establishment or you've rented a space at the market, you are legally responsible for any of the issues that arise. The repair or replacement of damaged property, medical bills, and legal fees can be exorbitant. These expenses can be so expensive that they could end up putting you in a state of financial devastation. If you have the right type of insurance, however, any monetary expenses that you are responsible for will be covered by your insurance carrier. In other words, insurance can help you avoid financial turmoil.
What Type Of Farmers Market Insurance Do You Need?
There are several types of farmers market insurance Montana coverage that proprietors and vendors should carry, including:
- Commercial Property - Both the business entity that operates a farmers market and vendors of the market should carry business property insurance. This type of coverage protects your property from damages that occur as a result of an act of nature - a fire or a severe storm, for example - and vandalism. For instance, if an unexpected storm pushes in an a flash of lighting hits a tent, or someone tags graffiti on any of your equipment, your commercial property insurance would help to cover the cost of the damages.
- Premises Liability - Proprietors of a farmers market are required to carry premises liability insurance. This type of coverage protects you against any third-party property damage and injury claims that may be filed against you. Should a shopper trip over a misplaced wire that isn't clearly marked and suffer an injury, for example, premises liability will cover the cost of the necessary medical care. If the shopper files a lawsuit against you, your insurance policy will also assist with legal defense fees and any settlements that may be awarded.
- Product Liability - For farmers market vendors, product liability insurance is a must. If someone purchases produce or baked goods from you, develops a food borne illness, and files a lawsuit against you, claiming that the food you sold him or her was the cause of illness, product liability insurance would protect you. This type of policy would help to cover the cost of any associated medical bills, as well as legal expenses and settlements.
- Workers Compensation - This type of insurance provides coverage for medical care employees may need if they sustain a work-related injury or illness. It also covers lost wages, should the employee be unable to work as a result of an injury or illness.
MT Farmers Market's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to the number of visitors to the market. To prevent slips and falls, there should be good lighting and adequate aisle space. All stock should be on sturdy shelves that are easily accessible to customers. Items should not be placed in aisles where customers could trip over them. Floor coverings should be in good condition, no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Sufficient exits must be provided and be well marked, with backup lighting systems in case of power failure.
Booth operators should be required to keep displays within their designated areas in order to prevent slips and falls. Outdoor facilities, parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. If the premises are open after dark, there should be adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area. There should be a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies. Personal injury exposures include allegations of discrimination and from apprehending and detaining shoplifters, which may result in claims of assault and battery, false arrest or detention, unauthorized or intrusive searches, or wrongful ejection from the premises. Shoplifting procedures must be fully understood and utilized by all employees.
Workers compensation exposure is moderate due to employees standing for long hours, the use of computers, and stocking which requires lifting and placing items on floors or shelves for display. Continual standing can result in musculoskeletal disorders of the back, legs, or feet. Trips, slips, and falls are common. When work is done on computers, employees are exposed to eyestrain, neck strain, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome. Lifting can cause back injury, hernias, sprains, and strains. Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting.
Equipment used in repair operations should be appropriately maintained to prevent injury. Respiratory ailments may occur from working with paints, lacquers, and solvents. Employees picking up items or delivering items to customers will encounter road exposures. Cleaning workers can develop respiratory ailments or contact dermatitis from working with chemicals. In any retail business, hold-ups may occur. Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner.
Property exposures can be high due to the age, combustibility, and value of stock along with numerous ignition sources including electrical wiring and heating and air conditioning systems. All wiring should be well maintained and meet current codes for the occupancy. Malfunctioning wiring on used electrical equipment may short or spark when tested by customers. Should a fire occur, the stock and its packaging materials provide a combustible fire load that is highly susceptible to water and smoke damage. Flammables such as lacquers or solvents used for cleaning, reconditioning or repair must be stored away from the inventory. Processing should be done in a building away from the flea market or inventory locations to reduce the potential for fire.
If there is a snack bar or restaurant, all grills and deep fat fryers must have automatic fire extinguishing protection, hoods and filters. There should be fuel shut-offs and adequate hand-held fire extinguishers. The kitchen must be kept clean and grease free to prevent the spread of fire. Most stock may be owned by those renting booth space from the dealer. The rental agreement should clearly spell out who is responsible for insuring the goods in the rented booth. Appropriate security measures should be in place including physical barriers to prevent entrance to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department. Business interruption exposures are moderate. While backup facilities are readily available, replacement stock may be difficult to obtain quickly.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and theft of money and securities from holdup or safe burglary. Background checks should be conducted on all employees handling money. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements. Money should be regularly collected from cash drawers and moved away from the collection area, preferably to a safe on premises. Bank drops should be made throughout the day to prevent a buildup of cash on the premises.
Inland marine exposures may include accounts receivable if the flea market offers credit or bills vendors for booth space, computers to transact sales and monitor inventory, and valuable goods and records from customers' and vendors' information. Backup copies of all records, including computer files, should be made and stored off premises. If the flea market consigns items belonging to others or is responsible for the property of others in rented booths, bailees customers coverage should be considered.
Business auto exposure is moderate as dealers will regularly purchase items off-site and transport them to the farmers market. They often provide delivery services to customers when large items are purchased. All drivers must have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles should have regular maintenance with records kept.
MT Farmers Market Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the type of farmers market insurance Montana you should carry, how much coverage you need, and if there is a specific policy that will provide comprehensive coverage for farmers market proprietors and vendors, contact a reputable insurance broker.
Montana Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Thinking about starting a new business? Already own a successful business and want to expand your operations? Whatever the case may be, if you want to experience as much success as possible, you are going to want to ensure you choose the best possible location for your specific industry.
No matter how outstanding your goods and services may be, if the area where your business is located doesn't offer a healthy climate that will support your company, chances are you'll struggle to succeed.
If you are thinking about opening up a business in Montana, being familiar with the state's economic trends can help you determine if it's a good location for you. It's also wise to know what type of insurance you'll need to invest in so that you can plan ahead.
With that said, below, we provide an overview of the economic trends in the state of Montana, as well as the commercial insurance requirements for business owners in the Treasure State.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Montana
As of December, 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in the state of Montana was 3.4%; that's 0.1% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% at the same time. This rate remained steady throughout the entire 2019 fiscal year, and it is expected to either continue remaining steady or improve in coming years, according to economists.
Unemployment rate is a vital statistic for business owners, as it indicates the job market of a location, which is a strong determining factor in the success of businesses in the region.
There are several areas throughout the state of Montana that are seeing economic booms and where businesses are flourishing. Among those locations include the following cities and the areas that surround them:
- Great Falls
Several industries are seeing substantial growth in MT; however, there are particular sectors that are really thriving in Montana. Among those sectors include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Hospitality and tourism
- Information technology
- Oil and gas production
- Retail development
If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in Montana are favorable.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Montana
The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance regulates insurance in MT. Montana mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Montana requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Montana also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Food Service Insurance
Learn about restaurants, bars, liquor stores commercial insurance coverages. See how small business food service insurance help protect against accidents, oversights and lawsuits resulting from business operations.
- Bagel Shop
- Beer Distributor
- Coffee Shop
- Concession Stand
- Farmers Market
- Grocery Store
- Ice Cream Shop
- Internet Cafe
- Liquor Liability
- Liquor Store
- Sandwich Shops
Bars, taverns, restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking places have significant insurance needs in three separate areas.
The first is property protection for physical damage to equipment, furnishings, building and supplies due to fire and other perils.
The second is premises liability coverage to protect customers due to slips, trips and falls on the premises, as well as for consumption of food products.
The final need is protection for employees due to frequent cuts, burns and other common employee injuries. Establishments that sell or serve liquor or other alcoholic beverages also need liquor liability coverage.
Slips and falls, along with customer illness due to being served tainted food or drink, are the primary liability exposures. The commercial general liability (CGL) is used to provide coverage for these exposures.
It is important to note that liquor liability coverage is excluded under the CGL form if a risk is in the business of serving alcoholic beverages. Many establishments in this category should therefore consider purchasing a separate liquor liability coverage form.
Restaurant kitchen equipment, inventory and dining room fixtures are common exposures for most eating and drinking places. Many of these establishments do not own the buildings they occupy but have long-term leases and have invested money in various improvements and betterments, including cooking equipment, dining room decorations and permanent fixtures.
There are major differences in the food service business and the very different exposures they present. There are many specific types of restaurants to cater to individual needs and tastes. There a several main commercial insurance classifications for food service.
Concessionaires: The most basic "eat on the run" type of restaurant is not classified as a restaurant at all but is referred to as a concessionaire. Class Code 11168: Concessionaires applies and the accompanying note states that all food and beverages must be sold through hawking or peddling. There can be no location to which customers walk up and purchase the food. This classification includes food sold at sporting events, exhibitions, and parks.
Caterers: Are very similar to restaurants with significant differences. The caterer prepares the meals at its own kitchen or commissary and then transports it to the locations where it will be served. Some final preparation may take place at the final location but the majority generally takes place at the caterer's location. The caterer's employees serve the meals and beverages and oversee the consumption of the food.
Restaurants: The way restaurants are categorized and classified uses the percentage of alcoholic beverage sales as the first criteria, followed by other features or operations.
Common to all of these categories is that entertainment-oriented venues such as nightclubs, cabarets, dance halls, discotheques, and comedy clubs must be separately classified and rated. This means that the sales that those entertainment activities generate must be broken out and rated separately from the sale or food and drink.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Spoilage, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Nonowned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Accounts Receivables, Bailees Customers, Fine Arts, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Environmental Impairment, Liquor Liability, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Garagekeepers and Stop Gap Liability.
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Also find MT local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Montana small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including MT business insurance costs. Call us (406) 637-8400.