Maryland Orchard And Grove Insurance Policy Information
Maryland Orchard And Grove Insurance. Apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, oranges; there are so many delightfully delicious and wonderfully nutritious goodies that grow naturally from trees.
Orchards grow fruit and nuts on trees or shrubs, including apples, berries, cherries, pears, peaches, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts. Orchards for citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges are often called groves.
Some orchards have retail operations where customers visit the premises, including "You Pick It" operations. Some process their goods into cider, jellies, or jams to sell to customers. Others take their products to local farmers' markets.
At harvest time, the farmer either drives the produce to processing plants or hires a carrier to transport them.
Orchards and groves depend on natural substances such as compost and manure to be successful, plus several chemical applications such as fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides. Mowers, pickers, tillers, tractors, and other types of farming machinery are required to support production.
If you're lucky enough to own an orchard or grove - whether it only features a single type of tree or it's expansive and features a variety of species - you want to share the yummy and nutritious bounty that your trees produce.
That's why you've decided to open up your farm to the public and invite them in to pick their own fresh fruits. You also employ a team to help you manage your trees and your land and pick crops to be distributed.
While you always go the extra mile to make sure that your orchard or grove functions properly and that everyone who uses it or receives products from it is satisfied, you just never know when something unexpected could go wrong.
To protect yourself from the risks that are associated with owning and operating an orchard or grove, making sure that you are properly protected with the right type of insurance coverage is an absolute must.
Why is Maryland orchard and grove insurance so important? What kind of policies should you carry? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.
Maryland orchard and grove insurance protects your operations from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do MD Orchards And Groves Need Insurance?
There's so much that goes into owning, operating, and maintaining an orchard or grove. The land and your trees have to be properly maintained and cared for, which means that a lot of tools and equipment need to be used.
You may employ a crew to assist you with the operational functions. If you offer “U-Pick” services, you are also responsible for anything that happens to the public while they are on your property.
In other words, as the owner and operator of an MD orchard or grove, you have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders, and should something go wrong, you will be held legally liable.
Someone could trip and fall while picking fruit from your grove. A staff member could fall off a ladder and sustain an injury while picking crops. Your property could be damaged as a result of a severe weather event. These are just a few of the unexpected things that could happen, and if they do, you could be looking at serious financial losses.
If you have the right Maryland orchard and grove insurance , however, instead of having to pay for the related expenses out of your own pocket, your insurance company will cover the costs for you. In short: insurance can help you avoid monetary devastation.
What Type Of Insurance Do Maryland Orchards And Groves Need?
There are several types of insurance policies that the owners and operators of MD orchards and groves should carry. Some of policies are mandatory, while others are voluntary.
In order to find out exactly what kind of Maryland orchard and grove insurance coverage you should carry to properly protect yourself, your customers, and your staff, speaking with an experienced commercial insurance agent is highly recommended.
With that said, however, here's a look at a few of the policies that you'll want to invest in:
- Commercial Property - This coverage protects your orchard or grove, including the fields and the buildings on the property, from acts of nature, theft, or vandalism. If someone were to steal a piece of equipment that you use to harvest your crops, commercial property insurance would help to pay for the replacement costs.
- General Liability - This Maryland orchard and grove insurance policy will protect you from third-party liability claims. For example, if a vendor were to trip and fall while picking up crops from your property that need to be shipped out and they filed a lawsuit against you for physical injuries, this policy would cover the legal defense fees and any compensation that you may be required to pay.
- Workers' Compensation - If one of your employees were to suffer a work-related injury - they fell off a ladder or were injured by a piece of equipment, for example - workers comp would pay for their medical care and reimburse them for wages that they might lose if they are unable to work while recovering from the injuries that they developed while working.
These are just a few examples of the type of Maryland orchard and grove insurance coverage that are needed. To find out what other policies you may need based on your unique operations - speak with an experienced commercial insurance broker who understands Agribusiness.
MD Orchard's And Grove's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are generally low. The operation of farming equipment and ATVs not subject to motor vehicle registration falls under premises liability, not automobile liability, even when being used on public roads. Poor rural road conditions combined with heavy or awkward equipment and occasional operation by underage drivers can result in accidents.
Group tours, retail stores, and frequent visits by agriculture agents, chemical applicators, mechanics, and inspectors increase the exposure. Visitors may be injured due to uneven walking surfaces, inadequate housekeeping, farm machinery, and confined or closed spaces.
Some orchards include a "You Pick It" operation which requires additional protections for those picking and any young children who accompany them. Clear guidance must be provided as to where picking can take place and the areas where the pickers can venture. Barriers must be in place to prevent young children from entering dangerous areas.
Products/completed operations liability exposures are moderate due to the possibility of contaminated produce from the use of chemical applications. Any processing of fruit into ciders or other food items must be handled in a sanitary manner to prevent foreign objects from getting into containers. Only FDA approved pest control chemicals should be used.
Environmental impairment liability exposures can be high due to the potential for air, land, or water pollution from the use of agricultural chemicals and pollutants such as insecticides, fungicides, pesticides, and herbicides, fuels for machinery and motor vehicles, refrigerants, and solvents. Use and disposal of all chemicals must be documented and meet all FDA and EPA standards. If there are underground storage tanks, a UST policy will be required.
Workers compensation exposures are very high as orchards are very labor-intensive. Work may be required for long hours and in all kinds of weather conditions. Harvesting and tree pruning are done at heights, increasing the risk of falls.
Training, supervision, and communication are important in maintaining a safe work environment, especially during harvest time when significant numbers of seasonal and/or day laborers may be hired. Working around farm machinery, tools and equipment can result in a variety of injuries ranging from minor to severe.
Slips, trips, falls, back injuries from lifting, broken bones, foreign objects in the eye, hearing impairment from noise, and muscle strains are common. Use of cider presses or cooking equipment for preserves can result in crushing injuries, cuts, and burns. Exposure to farm chemicals and organic dust can lead to respiratory issues.
Workers can suffocate in confined spaces such as bins, tanks, and silos. Injuries can result from falls or from loading and unloading vehicles.
Property exposures depend on the size of the operation, type of fruits and nuts stored, and the number and types of buildings. Ignition sources include faulty electrical wiring, fuel, heaters, refrigeration units and smoking. Wiring must be up to date and well maintained.
Explosions can occur if ammonia is used as a refrigerant. Lightning may strike buildings unprotected by rods and Ground Fault Interrupters (GFIs), dryers and presses can overheat or become jammed, decaying organic material may spontaneously combust, burning operations may spread, and severe winds and tornados may destroy property in certain geographical areas.
Buildings may collapse under the weight of stored produce. Orchards are in rural areas where fire response time may be slow and a water supply to douse a fire may be undependable.
Refrigeration equipment may break down resulting in spoilage. Smoking should be prohibited. The business income exposure can be high as operations are seasonal and some equipment may be difficult to repair or replace quickly.
Crop exposures are high because unprotected plants grown in the open are susceptible to damage by animals, bacteria, drought, flooding, frost, fungi, hail, insects, lightning, snow, viruses, weeds, wildfire, wind, and winterkill.
While some of these can be mitigated by proper farming practices or chemical applications, others are considered fortuitous acts that can be covered by either crop/hail or multi-peril insurance.
Crime exposures are minimal. Most equipment and inventory are large, heavy, or difficult to remove undetected. Cash exposures are usually small unless there are retail operations. Employee dishonesty exposures are minor in family-owned and run operations. Pre-employment background checks should be done on all outside employees having access to cash, checks, safes, and equipment.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if customers are billed, computers, goods in transit, mobile equipment, and valuable papers and records for seed source information, records needed to substantiate FDA requirements, and product information that may be needed in case of a recall.
Farm equipment stored in buildings can be damaged by fire, explosion, or collapse.
Items stored in the open can be damaged by hail or winds. Goods in transit to offsite storage facilities or to customers can be damaged by overturn or collision, which may result in a total loss due to the possibility of food contamination.
Business auto exposures are moderate. Produce transport vehicles are heavy and awkward, especially on narrow rural roads. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be well maintained with documentation kept.
Maryland Orchard And Grove Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the specific types of Maryland orchard and grove insurance policies you'll need, how much coverage you should carry, and the premiums - consult with a reputable broker that is experienced in commercial insurance.
Maryland Economic Data And Business Insurance Regulations
Business owners that have their sights set on Maryland should to take a number of factors into consideration before the set up shop; namely, they need to determine if the state offers favorable for business owners in general, as well as their specific industry. After all, it doesn't matter how top-notch the products and services a business offers may be, if the location isn't favorable for the industry - and businesses, in general - the operation is going to have a hard time thriving.
Below, we examine key factors that indicate whether or not Maryland is favorable for business owners. We also look at some of the must-have types of commercial insurance coverage that are required in the state.
Economic Trends For Maryland Business Owners
A state's unemployment rate is key indicator of whether or not the climate is favorable for business operations. As of May, 2019, the unemployment rate in the Old Line State was 3.8 percent; 0.2 percent higher than the national average. In October of 2022, the rate hit a record low of 3.7 percent, so in less than a year, the unemployment rate has increased by .01 percent; a marginal increase. However, there have been gains in recent years; in 2010, the rate was 7.8 percent; that's a 4.0 percent increase in less than a decade.
The best place to start a business in Maryland is in Baltimore, the state's largest city. Suburbs of the city also offer promising conditions for business owners, such as Ellicott City, Columbia, Fulton, Lutherville, and Elkridge.
The state of Maryland offers a friendly culture for business of all shapes and sizes; but, the industries that are see the most success in the Old Line State include:
- BioHealth and Life Sciences
- Advanced manufacturing
- Information technology
- Aerospace and defense
- Financial services
- Energy (specifically green energy)
- Hospitality and tourism
Commercial Insurance Regulations In MD
The Maryland Insurance Administration regulates insurance in Maryland. Commercial insurance is designed to protect business owners from potential perils; it also protects anyone that interacts with a business, including consumers, vendors, and employees. Having the right type of coverage is not only crucial to avoid serious financial devastation in the even that a catastrophe does occur, but certain types of insurance are mandated, meaning business owners must carry specific forms of coverage.
In the state of Maryland, business owners are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, which offers coverage for on-the-job accidents and illnesses that employees sustain, is also required. Other forms of insurance coverage that business owners may need to invest in depend on the specific industry; for example, companies that distribute or sell alcohol will need liquor liability insurance, and businesses that utilize vehicles for business-related operations should carry commercial auto insurance to protect their drivers and other motorists on the road.
Additional Resources For Agribusiness Insurance
Learn about small business agribusiness insurance - a type of commercial insurance protects farmers against loss of, or damage to crops or livestock.
- Insurance Farming Terms Glossary
- Aquaculture Fish Farm
- Commercial Fishermen
- Dairy Farm
- Equine & Horse Farm
- Farm And Ranch
- Farm Equipment Dealers
- Farm Labor Contractors
- Livestock & Cattle
- Mushroom Farms
- Nursery And Greenhouse
- Nut Farm
- Orchards & Groves
- Poultry Farm
- Sheep & Goat Farm
- Swine, Hog & Pig Farm
- Tobacco Farm
- What Are Farm And Ranch Insurance Endorsements?
Farming is, and has always been a tough business. There are many uncontrollable factors for farmers to deal with - like the weather, vermin, or other natural catastrophes. Any of these can destroy cash crops, such as corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat, and put the farmer in a very bad financial situation.
Insurance for agribusiness falls into three general categories:
The first is property insurance on the buildings and the usually substantial amount of business personal property made up of machinery, livestock, equipment and other stock.
The second is liability for both premises and products.
The last is protection for worker injuries. Commercial auto insurance should be written if the operation owns vehicles and especially if it transports its own products.
There are a wide variety of agribusiness insurance options that are available to farmers. These policies allow them to to receive compensation in the event of a poor growing season, dropping prices, cattle disease or catastrophic natural event.
Loss of crops or livestock can financially ruin an agribusiness operation. The crop insurance agrees to indemnify the farmer, rancher or grower against losses which occur during the crop year. Losses have to be caused by things which are unavoidable or beyond the farmer's control - like a drought, freeze and/or disease.
Some policies offer coverage due to adverse weather events such as the inability to plant due to excess moisture or losses due to the quality of the crop.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Buildings, Business Personal Property, Crop Insurance, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Goods in Transit, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Environmental Impairment, Umbrella, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Business Income and Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Farm Owners, Flood, Computer Fraud, Employee Dishonesty, Forgery, Money and Securities, Cyber Liability, Employee Benefits, Employment-related Practices Liability, Product Recall, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones).
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