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Thread: Farm Insurance for Small Maple Syrup Producers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Weston, WV
    Posts
    35

    Default Farm Insurance for Small Maple Syrup Producers

    Good afternoon all!

    I have been a member for a while and read a lot if things on here, but this is my first time to post anything, so I apologize if I am a bit unclear on what I am asking. I have read through the other insurance threads and got some good information, but my questions is a bit more specific, so here it goes.

    I have made syrup the last 3 years (this is my 4th), getting bigger each year. This year I started a farm (sole proprietor) to try and recoup some of my investment moving forward and get the tax advantages of the costs. This year I built a sugar shack and added quite a bit of infrastructure to get ready for more growth in the future, as I am hoping to produce around 40 gallons or so. I called my insurance agent (currently only homeowners/vehicle/personal liability) and asked what we could do to add a farm policy to my current plan (Erie). He made some calls to the underwriter and they refused to add a rider to the policy since there would theoretically be "food consumption", so my agent is stating that I will have to open a full commercial policy including liability. Also, Erie states they will not renew my policy unless I provide proof of commercial coverage due to the increase in liability. The quote for $5,000 in contents (okay for now, will need raised in the future) and $300,000 liability is $530 per year, so needless to say I am a bit taken back since I am looking to gross about $3,000 this year.

    If this is necessary, I will eat it, but I didn't know if you guys/gals had some similar situations that you may be able to shed some light on for me. Can I get a separate policy through another company out of my area? If so, any suggestions? Should I start shopping again for a total bundle?

    I really appreciate any thoughts in advance! Sorry for the long post, I just am a bit set back here, and it is getting super close to go time here in WV! I included a picture for reference if that could help.

    Kody

    Shack 1.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Merrill,Wisconsin
    Posts
    218

    Default

    I just took out a food liability policy $300 a year for 2 million dollar limit

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kboone1 View Post
    Good afternoon all!

    I have been a member for a while and read a lot if things on here, but this is my first time to post anything, so I apologize if I am a bit unclear on what I am asking. I have read through the other insurance threads and got some good information, but my questions is a bit more specific, so here it goes.

    I have made syrup the last 3 years (this is my 4th), getting bigger each year. This year I started a farm (sole proprietor) to try and recoup some of my investment moving forward and get the tax advantages of the costs. This year I built a sugar shack and added quite a bit of infrastructure to get ready for more growth in the future, as I am hoping to produce around 40 gallons or so. I called my insurance agent (currently only homeowners/vehicle/personal liability) and asked what we could do to add a farm policy to my current plan (Erie). He made some calls to the underwriter and they refused to add a rider to the policy since there would theoretically be "food consumption", so my agent is stating that I will have to open a full commercial policy including liability. Also, Erie states they will not renew my policy unless I provide proof of commercial coverage due to the increase in liability. The quote for $5,000 in contents (okay for now, will need raised in the future) and $300,000 liability is $530 per year, so needless to say I am a bit taken back since I am looking to gross about $3,000 this year.

    If this is necessary, I will eat it, but I didn't know if you guys/gals had some similar situations that you may be able to shed some light on for me. Can I get a separate policy through another company out of my area? If so, any suggestions? Should I start shopping again for a total bundle?

    I really appreciate any thoughts in advance! Sorry for the long post, I just am a bit set back here, and it is getting super close to go time here in WV! I included a picture for reference if that could help.

    Kody

    Attachment 19184
    If Farm Family is in your area I've had good luck and reasonable prices with them.Never heard anything bad from anyone

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,109

    Default

    Check around, you can do better than that.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,722

    Default

    Find out if you can get Co-Operative insurance in your area. They specialize in farm and agricultural insurance. I have all of my policies through them and they are reasonably priced.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
    Lapierre 250 Turbo RO machine
    SP-22 vacuum pump
    1930 Ford Model AA Doodlebug tractor
    1971 IH 454 52hp diesel tractor
    A couple of Honda 4 wheelers
    About a dozen chainsaws and no chickens

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Elliottsburg, PA
    Posts
    2,222

    Default

    Check around, I ran into the same thing.
    My homeowners do not do food type coverage either.
    So I looked around and found a good one for right at $300 per year.
    1st Generation Hobby Maple Producer, you got to start somewhere.
    222 Taps, all on Vacuum! No more buckets.
    Lapierre 2'x5' raised flue w/Hood and Preheater
    Surge SP11, Lapierre Hobby Releaser
    Modified 5" Filter Press made by Daryl with a Gear Pump
    Homemade 2 membrane RO
    Kabota RTV Sap Hauler

    Hardy's Maple Syrup on Facebook

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    246

    Default

    Check into the WV Maple Syrup Producers Association, They are a great resource, some have probably been in your shoes already- and will be glad to share info, too hard to do everything else in this industry by yourself.

    I'm tappin and boiling in OH just across the river- but born and raised in Salt Rock WV down south of Huntington.
    2012 15 jugs
    2017 125 3/16 -18"x 6' drop flue, home made arch
    2018 240 3/16 -Deer Run 125 RO
    2019 450 3/16 -converted RO to electric, added a membrane
    2020 600 3/16 -Maple Pro 2x6 Raised Flue, added AOF/AUF
    2021 570 3/16 -built a SS steam hood, new Smoky Lake SS filter press

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cornish,NH
    Posts
    712

    Default

    If they are in your area check with Farm Family. Had them for years an they cover my whole farm with product coverage plus all my autos They paid on a couple of real bazaar claims here with no problem. one being a 1500 gallon poly sap tank rolling into the side of my pickup truck. Long story!
    3x10 Dallalre, oil fired, Stainless steel.
    Steam hoods front and rear with preheater.
    1500 taps on vac, right to sugar house.
    900 on Gravity
    New Busch 3 Phase Vacuum. (2010)
    Lapierre 600 Turbo with 2 - 8" posts
    36 years of MAPLE ENJOYMENT!!
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...93710737313171

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,109

    Default

    When you find a company who does farm insurance think hard about your liability limit. If you ever had a claim, 300,000 does nothing. I carry 2 million. It should be enough to insulate you from liability. Just think about law suits you read about in the paper and see on the news. Like the "lady" who got burned because she put a cup of hot coffee in her lap while driving and got burned when it spilled. You need to realize that judges do not throw out enough cases when the one suing was just stupid. Like Forrest Gump said, you can't fix stupid.
    You want to be protected so the one making the suit does not just go after you once the limit has been met.
    On my 2 mil. policy I don't pay as much as you were quoted for $300,000. You will find also that the price between a $300,000 policy and $2 million will be very little. I have $2 mil liability and if that is used up, I also have a $2 mil blanket policy (and both combined total less than what your quote was). It is all based on what you have to lose. We are in different states and you will need to find a company licensed in WV.
    You also need to realize that you do not even need to be at fault to be sued.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Weston, WV
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Thanks, everyone! I will definitely check into Farm Family, as well as any leads I can get from the WV Maple Syrup Producers Assoc, I do know a few people very involved so that is a great call. I also will check into the Co-Op, have some Farm Bureau people close as well and will try them for any ideas.

    Maple Flats, on the limits, I would never think a $300,000 limit as practical, but I was just showing how crazy I thought that was. I will be looking at a $2 million business alongside my personal 2 million. You are 100% correct, price differences just aren't that much, agree completely!

    Thanks again everyone, this is a huge help in the right direction.

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