Nut Farm Insurance Vermont Policy Information
Nut Farm Insurance Vermont. Walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds; nuts are a vital source of nutrition and a central component of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Nuts are consumed by people around the globe on a regular basis.
Not only are they consumed in their raw form, but nuts are also a key ingredient and numerous other types of food. Given the fact that the entire world relied on nuts, as a nut farmer, it's safe to say that you provide an invaluable service.
However, while your business is vital, it isn't without risks. As the owner and operator of your nut farm, you are liable for any issues that may arise. How can you protect yourself from those risks? By investing in a comprehensive nut farm insurance Vermont policy.
Nut farms grow their produce on trees or in the ground. Tree nuts include almonds, cashews, coconuts, chestnuts, filberts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts, while peanuts are grown underground.
Some tree nut farms have retail operations where customers visit the premises, including "You Pick It" operations. At harvest time, tree nuts must be blown or shaken off the trees, either by hand or using mechanical pickers. Peanut plants are uprooted, and the peanuts allowed to dry before being threshed from the plants.
The tree nuts or peanuts are dried, cracked open, and cleaned. They may be boiled, roasted, salted, or be processed into oils or spreads. Some are used for making paint, polishes, or silage.
Nut farms depend on natural substances such as compost and manure to be successful, plus a number of chemical applications such as fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides. Pickers, tillers, tractors, and other types of farming machinery are required to support production.
At harvest time, the farmer either drives the produce to processing plants or hires a carrier to transport them. Nut farms are regulated by the FDA.
Why do VT nut farmers need insurance? What type of coverage should they carry? Read on to find out more and to learn how you can protect your business, your employees, consumers, and yourself from the many risks that your industry faces.
Nut farm insurance Vermont protects nut farmers from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Nut Farms Need Insurance?
Just like farmers of any other type of crops, nut farmers are faced with a variety of risks. Your crop could be damaged by an act of nature - a hurricane, a flood, a tornado, or a wildfire, for example. Your crops could also be ransacked by animals or other pests that may pick your fields dry and leave you with nothing.
Wrongdoers could potentially break into your farm and rob your commercial property of the equipment and tools that you use to keep your nut farm operational.
There's a chance that you could have to shut down operations for a period of time, which would result in a major loss of income, or one of your employees could sustain a work-related injury that requires medical treatment, and may not be able to work while they are recovering.
The above are just a few examples of the risks that nut farmers face. As the owner and operator of your farm, you are legally responsible for all of the costs that are associated with these risks, and those costs could be exorbitant.
If you had to pay for such expenses out of your own pocket, there's a good chance that you could end up in financial ruin. That's why having the right type of insurance coverage is so important; with the right type of nut farm insurance Vermont coverage in place, if an issue does arise, instead of having to pay for related costs yourself, your insurer would cover them for you.
In other words, insurance could help to save you from serious financial losses.
What Type Of Insurance Do Nut Farmers Need?
The specific type of nut farm insurance Vermont coverage that nut farmers need depends on a variety of factors; the location of your operation, the specific type of nuts that you grow and harvest, the size of your farm and the amount of people you employ, for example.
Because needs vary, speaking with a reputable agent who specializes in commercial insurance is highly recommended. An agent will be able to help you determine exactly what protections you need and exactly how much coverage you should carry.
That said, here's a look at some of the different types of coverage that most VT nut farmers should have in place:
- Commercial Property - One of the most important type of insurance that nut farmers need to carry is property damage insurance. This type of coverage protects you from any damages to your property that may occur; for example, if fire were to break out in one of your warehouses and damage the building and some of your machinery and equipment, this type of coverage would help to pay for the related costs.
- Crop Insurance - Coverage for your crops is another vital component of a robust nut farmer insurance policy. This type of coverage, as the name suggests, protects your crops. In the event that they are damaged or compromised for any reason, this type of coverage will help to pay for the related losses.
- Business Interruption - Should your farm need to be shut down for any reason, business interruption insurance would help to replace the income you would lose until you could reopen for operation.
These policies are just a few examples of the type of nut farm insurance Vermont you'll need to carry as a VT nut farmer.
VT Nut Farmers' 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 nut farms 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 allergic reactions and contaminated produce from the use of chemical applications. Any processing of nuts into spreads 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. Nut products, particularly peanut products, may produce allergic reactions in some customers. All nuts for sale should be properly labeled.
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 nut farms 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. Workers may be seasonal, underage, speak another language, and/or lack adequate training and supervision.
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. Exposure to farm chemicals and organic dust can lead to respiratory issues. Workers could experience allergic reactions from exposure to tree nuts or peanuts. Injuries can result from falls or from loading and unloading vehicles.
Property exposures depend on the size of the operation, type of nuts stored, and the number and types of buildings.
Ignition sources include faulty electrical wiring, fuel, heaters, and smoking. Wiring must be up to date and well maintained. Lightning may strike buildings unprotected by rods and 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. Nut farms are in rural areas where fire response time may be slow and a water supply to douse a fire may be undependable. 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 is 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.
Commercial 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.
Nut Farm Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the nut farm insurance Vermont coverages you'll need as a VT nut farmer, speak with an reputable and experienced insurance agent who specializes in commercial farming insurance.
Vermont Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
For business-minded individuals who are either thinking about launching their first organization or established entrepreneurs who would like to expand their operations, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration before proceeding. Of those factors, top on the list of importance is location.
The target market and demographics of a location must be favorable for the industry in order for a business to be successful. By analyzing the unemployment rate of a specific state and the key industries that are flourishing with that state, business owners can determine whether or not the will amass the success they are hoping to achieve.
In addition to understanding the economic data of a state, it's also important for proprietors to know what type of commercial insurance they are required to carry.
If you're considering Vermont as the headquarters of your operation for a branch of your already existing business, read on to for an overview of the economic data and commercial insurance requirements in the Green Mountain State.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Vermont
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Vermont was 2.3%; 1.2% lower than the national average of 3.5% during the same time period. While the state's unemployment rate did rise slightly – it was 2.1% in July of 2019, for example – these statistics sill indicate that Vermont has a healthy economy that is conducive for business owners and residents of the state.
The favorable tax climate, the healthy environment, and the overall quality of life in Vermont are just some of the reasons why the economy in this state is booming.
As in most states, densely populated urban areas offer the most promise for businesses. These regions offer a larger workforce and market than smaller suburban and rural areas, they're easier to access, and they are more closely connected with surrounding states and the region of New England, as a whole.
With that said, the top places to start a business in Vermont include:
Several industries are seeing significant growth in Vermont. At the time of writing, the following sectors were seeing the most growth in the state:
- Food and beverage
- Health care
- Hospitality and tourism
- Professional services
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Vermont
The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation regulates insurance in VT. Vermont mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Vermont 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.
Vermont 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 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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