Urban Farming, Hobby Farms, and Insurance Gaps

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Insurance is succulenta black and white business. We like to know what is covered and what isn’t covered. We love defining everything down to the point where all possible variables are accounted for. We like it to be clear. We like things to be simple. Unfortunately…..life isn’t simple.

We see many clients whose lives blur the lines of work, home, and hobby. One example is the client who bought a home on 5 acres with a pond. He has a large pole building, an ATV, a few goats for the kids’ 4H project, chickens who produce eggs that they sell to friends and family, and robust enough gardening and landscape needs that he has a $40,000 Kubota tractor with loader.

Another example (on the other end of the spectrum) is a young client who lives alone in an urban apartment. She has a small container garden on her balcony where she grows herbs and also has a plot in a community garden where other plants and flowers are grown for sale at the local farmer’s market.

When these clients buy a homeowners or a renters policy, they are buying a product that was designed to address one coverage need: a home or apartment. The introduction of an agricultural or business exposure presents a whole new set of insurance needs and also triggers some scary exclusions in the policies that they do have. Neither of these individuals would consider themselves business owners, and while they may innocently assume that the scope of their activities would be covered by their current policies, they are not.

Fortunately, any well trained insurance professional partnering with quality carriers can fill the coverage gaps above in an affordable manner. The key is having the conversation, and having it with an independent agent who can access multiple insurers–not just one large, name-brand company. The reason this is important is that not all carriers treat the above situations the same, and a knowledgeable agent will know which carrier to match you up with for the most complete coverage.

At Sullivan Insurance we have partnered with these carriers and we are able to help. Your current policy may be just a few tweaks away from great coverage. Or you may need to consider a separate policy altogether to protect yourself. But you won’t know unless you ask. So if you have a hobby, part time gig, gentleman farm, or produce any sort of goods for sale, and you are relying on your homeowners policy to cover you make the time for a quick chat with your agent. And for you urban farmers out there, check out our Urban Farming Insurance checklist here!