Montana Winery Insurance Policy Information
Montana Winery Insurance. Wineries grow or purchase grapes and process them into wine. Some wineries still use manual labor to harvest grapes while others use mechanical harvesters. The grapes are fed through a destemmer and crushed. Skins may be removed or left on during fermentation, depending on the type of wine being produced. Sugar, yeast, carbon dioxide, or flavorings may be added. Fermentation can be done in oak barrels or stainless-steel tanks.
Testing is done periodically to check status of the wine. Once fermentation is completed, the wine is strained, bottled, and labeled for sale to restaurants, retailers, or wholesalers. Some wines require storage time from a few months to several years to develop optimum quality. Wineries may have a retail store selling to the public or facilities for on-premises consumption, such as a wine-tasting area or a full-service restaurant.
Running a winery is not always easy. There are many complex things and situations you must be prepared for to effectively run your vineyard. Owning a winery means you're responsible for the harvesting of crops to make wine. There are many risks when you are in the winery business. For this reason, you need protection for your business. The way for you to effectively protect your operation is to get the right Montana winery insurance policies for your business.
Montana winery insurance protects your vineyard from lawsuits with rates as low as $77/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why You Need Coverage For Your Winery Business
To keep your business protected from risks you need to have Montana winery insurance. To adequately protect your business you should have property, liability, commercial auto, liquor and other winery insurance policies. This is to protect your business in the case of a lawsuit. Below are some explanations of the different types of coverage you can buy:
Property Coverage - Having this type of Montana winery insurance in your business protects the building and their contents. In the event that they buildings you use to run your business are damaged this insurance keeps you covered. It also protects the inventory of your business. If there is ever an interruption in your business then having this type of insurance provides coverage for the expenses associated with the loss of property.
Tank Collapse Coverage - A container, tank, barrel or vessel can collapse and cause your business to lose profits. This is why having this type of insurance for you business is crucial.
Contract Cancellation Coverage - If you cannot fulfill a contract you have with a customer, then contract cancellation keeps you covered. Let's say you can't fill an order because your supply is short and you are sued when you have this insurance attorney fees, marketing expenses and different costs are covered.
Tank Leakage Coverage - If a tank begins leaking after you've made the wine or during the process of then this coverage protects your business. To avoid the cost that comes with this, you should get tank leakage coverage for you winery.
Crop Insurance - The most important part of your business is the grapes you use to make the wine. Without grapes, it's impossible for you to run your wine business. Protection of the grapes is important to keeping your business functional. If for some reason the crop you're growing is damaged then you'll be protected with this coverage in your business. You must note though that crop insurance does not protect your grapes after they've already been harvested. If your grapes are destroyed by an earthquake or you, live in a place where they could be then getting earthquake insurance may be a good move for your business.
Wine Storage Or Transit Coverage - When you have gone through the process of harvesting your grapes, you must ensure to keep them protected. Wherever you store your grapes, you'll need protection for them. This is where wine in storage or transit coverage comes in. Speaking with an experienced insurance agent will help you to find the policies to protect your grapes whether they are on site or off.
General Liability - This broad Montana winery insurance protection is good for your business if there's ever bodily harm or damage caused to a third party or their property.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance - While using machinery in your business, there's always the chance the machinery could breakdown. For this reason, you should have protection when it does. This insurance pays for the repairs or interruption cost caused by the breakdown of equipment.
Contamination and Spoilage Coverage - When you operate a vineyard, you'll need protection from losses that occur because of contamination. Having this insurance keeps your covered if there's a batch that's lost due to contamination.
Liquor Liability Coverage - Once you are in the business of selling alcoholic drinks, you must protect your business with Montana winery insurance. This is to protect if there is bodily harm as a result of selling alcohol. You can never predict what using alcohol might do a person, and if someone gets hurt or killed in a drunk driving accident - you might be sued.
Workers Compensation - If an employee gets injured on the job, you can protect your business from lawsuits when you have MT workers' compensation. In most states is is required by law for any non-owner employees. Any medical costs associated with an employee that's injured on the job is covered with workers comp.
To protect your business from the expenses of lawsuits you need to have the right commercial insurance in place. To get the right protection, you need to speak with an experienced insurance agent.
Montana Wineries' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are light if visitor access is limited. If there are retail sales, tours, restaurants, wine-tastings or bed and breakfast inns, the exposure increases. The serving of alcoholic beverages to customers can impair motor abilities and increase the likelihood of trips, slips or falls. Spilled drinks should be cleaned up promptly. Floor coverings must be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring.
Exits should be clearly marked and free of obstacles. Adequate interior and exterior lighting should be available in the event of a power outage. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair, with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and falls.
Products liability exposures are moderate due to the possibility of contamination, spoilage, foreign objects in containers, improper labeling of contents, or explosion of a carbonized container. Effective procedures are required to ensure sanitary working and processing conditions. The workplace must meet all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifications and be arranged so that foreign substances do not enter processing areas.
An on-site testing laboratory is recommended to verify quality control. Controls must be in place to prevent contamination from exposure to chemicals used to contain insect or rodent infestations, such as insecticides and pesticides. Warning labels must be in place indicating the potential damage of alcohol to unborn children. An effective recall program that can be activated immediately must be established.
Liquor liability exposures are from the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages. The exposure increases if there are retail sales, tours, and other events where wine is sold directly to the consumer. Failure to comply with state and federal regulations may result in the loss of a liquor permit which will close the business.
All employees who serve wine to customers must be trained in recognizing signs of intoxication. A procedure should be in place to deny service to underage or intoxicated patrons. Online sales present an even greater exposure because of the possibility of products being purchased by underage persons.
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 fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, refrigerants, motor vehicle fuels, and solvents. Storage, use and disposal of all chemicals must be documented and meet all FDA and EPA standards.
Workers compensation exposures can be moderate to high depending on the degree of mechanization. The more mechanized the manufacturing process, the less likely that employees will slip, fall, or sustain hernias or other lifting injuries. However, they are more likely to be injured by the machinery, particularly during destemming and crushing operations. If operations rely on manual labor, training, supervision, and communication are important in maintaining a safe work environment.
Foreign objects in the eye or hearing impairment from noise may occur. In aging and storage areas, vats should be secured to prevent falling and crushing employees. Forklifts should be equipped with backup alarms and be refueled in well-ventilated areas. Exposure to farm chemicals and organic dust can lead to respiratory issues.
Crop exposures are high because growing grapes are in the open and are susceptible to damage by animals, bacteria, drought, flooding, frost, fungi, hail, insects, lightning, snow, viruses, weeds, wind, and winterkill. While some of these can be mitigated by proper farming practices or chemical applications, others are random acts that may or may not be covered by insurance. Vines are often grafted from much older vines and take years to reestablish if they are killed.
Property exposures are from electrical wiring, heating and refrigeration equipment, and processing machinery. All machinery must be inspected and maintained regularly to avoid wear and tear or overheating losses. Wiring must be up to date and of sufficient capacity. All machinery should be grounded to prevent static buildup and discharge.
Grapes, wine in process, and stored wine are very sensitive to changes in temperatures. Temperature-monitoring devices should be mandatory and installed in most processing and storage areas. Even a small fire can result in mandatory destruction of all wine in process as well as stored wines due to the possibility of smoke contamination. Processing areas should be separated from storage areas.
Product ready for shipping should also be kept in a separate area, especially if a required tax stamp has already been affixed. Business income exposure may be high due to the use of specialized machinery and equipment that may be difficult to repair or replace quickly.
Equipment breakdown exposure is high due to the automated machinery and equipment which can malfunction or break down. All machinery and equipment must be regularly inspected and maintained as a lengthy breakdown to machinery could result in severe loss, both direct and under time element.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Pre-employment background checks should be done on all employees having access to the inventory. There must be a separation of duties between persons handling deposits and disbursements and handling bank statements. Some wineries offer tours and operate retail stores, resulting in excessive amounts of cash and credit card transactions.
Receipts should be issued for any cash payments received. Wine can be expensive and targeted by both employees and thieves. Loading docks should be supervised to minimize employee theft of finished goods.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the winery bills customers, computers (which may include computer-run production equipment), goods in transit, mobile equipment, and valuable papers and records. If goods in transit are damaged by collision or overturn, there may be no salvage due to the potential for food contamination. Equipment includes farming equipment such as harvesters. Records include inventory, quality control, proprietary formulas, purchases, and sales information.
Commercial auto exposures can be extensive. During planting and harvest times equipment must be moved from field to field. The equipment is awkward and slow moving and often must travel over winding rural roads and highways. The use of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and similar mobile equipment/auto type vehicles is common. Drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. All vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
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
- Liquor Liability
- Liquor Store
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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