What If a Customer Gets Hurt On My Farm?

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The fastest growing farm segments in America today are hobby and organic farms. Despite what the name “hobby farm” implies, they are not just farms for the owner’s enjoyment. They are becoming important revenue sources for the farm owner. If you own or operate a hobby or organic farm, then you likely grow fruit, vegetables or animals to sell to your local communities and generate cash flow. This action also likely requires customers to come on to your property.

Happy Customers Are Good For Business. Injured Customers Are Not.

Customers are great! It means you have a product they are willing to buy. But what happens when a customer is injured on your farm?  Offer immediate assistance or call for medical help, as appropriate! And, be sure you are prepared before an accident happens!

Be Prepared – Have Insurance!

  1. Work with an experienced insurance agent that understands the farm business.
  2. Some of the best protection is a Farm Liability policy – this is designed to cover accidents on the farm to guests, customers, and the actions of employees.
  3. Be sure your Farm Liability covers your “products”. If someone gets ill from your product, this helps protect you!
  4. Be sure your liability policy covers any farm stand you may have and provides coverage if you sell at a “farmers market” off your premises.
  5. Be sure your policy will extend to customers who may be on your property to “Pick” their own produce or fruit!
  6. Your policy should include coverage for medical payments – If you can provide a quick response to get medical help (if required) and the injured customer does not have to pay, this helps with customer relations and can help mitigate against a lawsuit down the road!
  7. If you have employees, you may be required by your state to provide Workers Compensation Insurance. Your agent will know and can advise you.

So you have your insurance program in place … What else do you need to worry about?

Owning a farm means owning power equipment, buildings and possibly animals. How do you protect your customers when they could come in contact with these potential hazards? Here are some tips:

  • Institute specific times when customers are welcome on your property;
  • Try to keep equipment away from customers during these times;
  • Keep animals penned and do not allow children into the pens;
  • If you have a dog, be sure it is well socialized around people – or else keep it away from customers;
  • Keep your property clean to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls.

If you haven’t had your insurance reviewed recently, it is good to review it with an experienced insurance agent annually to ensure you maintain adequate coverage as your farm evolves.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the good life of “farming”!

Acadia is pleased to share this material for the benefit of its customers.  Please note, however, that nothing herein should be construed as either legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services.  This material is for informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness.  Recipients of this material must utilize their own individual professional judgment in implementing sound risk management practices and procedures.

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