As the trend toward eating locally grown and harvested foods is growing in popularity, so too is the demand for farmers markets. These markets enable people to select and purchase fresh produce and other food products that are grown or created by farmers who are situated in or near their own communities. If you run a farmers market or if you are a farmer who rents booths as a vendor, you can limit your risk of financial losses by purchasing an appropriate farmers market insurance portfolio.
Ten States with the Most Farmers Markets, According to the USDA 2014
- California: 764 markets
- New York: 638 markets
- Michigan: 339 markets
- Ohio: 311 markets
- Illinois: 309 markets
- Massachusetts: 306 markets
- Pennsylvania: 297 markets
- Wisconsin: 311 markets
- Virginia: 249 markets
- Missouri: 245 markets
Who Needs To Buy Farmers Market Insurance?
Farmers markets typically include a variety of vendors who run booths in a single, centralized location. Whether you are a vendor or you run the farmers market, you will want to consider purchasing insurance coverage that protects your business interests in the event of a disaster. Because both the vendor and the business entity running the farmers market as a whole can be named in a liability lawsuit, each will need to be covered by commercial insurance in order to be protected.
The most important thing is that you understand what is and is not already covered by existing policies and that you get appropriate coverage to protect yourself against any exposures you may have. An independent insurance agent can help you make these determinations.
What Types of Coverage Should You Consider When Building Your Portfolio?
There is a variety of policy options that are available to you, and depending on your situation, many may make sense for protecting your business interests. Be sure to discuss the following insurance types with your insurance agent:
- Business property insurance for vendors: Farmers markets are typically canceled if severe weather is in the forecast. However, if a freak storm or unexpected accident should occur, vendors risk loss or damage to the inventory of products they brought to sell. This loss is typically not going to be terribly large, however, so insurance coverage may not be necessary. An independent agent can help determine whether your product value warrants coverage and, if so, whether you need to purchase insurance beyond what is already covered in your farmers insurance portfolio.
- Business property insurance for farmers markets: If you are running a farmers market, your business property likely consists of booths that you rent out and perhaps a computer system. You can require your vendors to carry insurance to cover damage to the booths, or you can purchase your own insurance coverage to cover your business inventory, or both. An independent insurance agent can advise you about what makes the most sense in your situation.
- Premises liability insurance: Farmers markets are usually held, with permission, in the parking lots of established businesses. While these businesses likely carry premises liability insurance, they frequently require those running the farmers market to purchase premises liability insurance as well. These costs are typically absorbed by increasing the booth fees for vendors. Because anyone can be named in a liability lawsuit, vendors are advised to purchase premises liability coverage as well. The rates for this coverage should not be substantial.
- Product liability insurance: If you are a vendor at a farmers market, coverage against lawsuits stemming from illnesses or injuries caused by products that you sell is likely already covered under your farmers insurance portfolio. If you own the business entity that organizes and runs the farmers market, you also may be named in a liability lawsuit stemming from tainted or unsafe food products being sold by your vendors, so you will need to ensure that you have sufficient product liability coverage through your commercial general liability insurance.
- Liquor liability insurance: Sometimes, vendors at farmers market include alcoholic beverages such as wine among their product offerings. In this case, both the vendor and the event host will need to be sure to have the proper liquor liability coverage in place. This provides coverage for accidents or injuries caused by consumers of these alcoholic beverages if your business is held liable.
- Workers' Compensation insurance: This covers employees of your farmers market if they are injured while on the job. It provides coverage for necessary medical treatment and paid time off and protects your business from a related liability lawsuit down the line.
How Much Does Farmers Market Insurance Cost?
Fortunately, the risks faced by vendors and operators of farmers markets are relatively few, so insurance premiums for this coverage are typically rather reasonable. Rates for farmers market insurance can vary based on a number of different factors including:
- the number of days per week or month that you operate your market.
- the average number of people who attend your farmers market event.
- the types of coverage you are purchasing.
- the amount of coverage you are purchasing.
- the insurance company or companies you choose to handle your coverage needs.
When you work with an independent insurance agent, you can easily compare policies from a variety of insurance companies so that you can be sure that the coverage you are purchasing is competitively priced.
Get Help Buying Suitable Farmers Market Insurance
Purchasing business insurance for your farmers market can be a confusing process. That is why it is beneficial to work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These agents are available to help you determine the types of coverage your business should consider, and they can answer questions you may have about your various coverage options. Contact a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more and to obtain assistance with building a suitable farmers market insurance portfolio.