It is common, especially in rural areas, for homes to be situated on one or more acres of land. Families who live on these parcels often choose to use the extra space to grow large gardens, have chickens, keep a cow or goat to provide dairy products, or produce some other food or product.
While they may be started as a hobby or as a way to provide a healthier diet, these activities often leave homeowners with more produce, meat, milk, eggs, or other products than their family can consume. Selling the excess is an obvious solution, but property owners should consider preparing for possible risks by purchasing farm insurance.
Understand the general definition of a farm
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), your property is likely to be classified as a farm if it is capable of generating $1000 in income, even if your actual income falls far below that number. Because of this, most properties with gardens, fruit orchards, poultry flocks, or other food-producing activities are likely to be considered an active farm.
Understand the potential risks for liability
When a property meets the general definition of a farm, standard homeowners insurance may no longer be sufficient, especially if products are marketed to paying customers or the general public. Without a farm policy with specific coverage, property owners can be held liable for any injury or accident that occurs both on the property or during the use of products purchased from the property.
Orchards, gardens, and berry farms that allow the customers to pick their own produce are potentially liable for any injuries that might occur on their property during these events. Property owners who give farm tours, host fairs or provide entertainment or educational sessions could also be held liable should a visitor become injured or ill during their visit.
Understanding risks related to livestock
If the property owner keeps large livestock, like cattle or horses, they need to understand the potential liability they may face. For example, property owners can be liable for injuries or damages caused by large livestock that escape their fences or those that cause injury to a customer or visitor who enters the animal's enclosure.
In addition to protecting you from many instances of liability, farm insurance can also offer you protection against financial loss if a farm structure or its contents becomes damaged or destroyed.
To learn more about farm insurance, check out websites like http://www.wrg-ins.com/.