The agriculture industry is very diverse. It may ranges from livestock processing to grain storage and pesticide distribution.
Because agriculture is such a broad industry, insurance risks vary across that spectrum. Each unique agricultural business faces its own liabilities. Day-to-day risks mandate unique agribusiness insurance coverage for each operation and employee.
Agricultural businesses must take proper steps to protect liabilities. Doing so can help protect the business’ financial and legal stability. Should a problem arise, policies often help make repairs, compensate victims, and settle legal claims.
Choosing Agribusiness Liability Coverage
Business liability coverage usually doesn’t involve a single policy. You might need multiple policies to fully insure your agricultural business’ risks. Choosing the right combination of policies is a job for both you and your insurance agent.
You and your agent can consider multiple liability options for your business insurance. Your first priority should be protecting the safety of your employees and guests. Without a safe business environment, operations cannot proceed normally. Always consider the following options, at minimum:
General Liability Coverage: Most standard business policies include a certain amount of liability insurance. General liability policies can help you compensate third parties for injuries or illnesses sustained on the property.
Professional Liability Coverage: No business gets it right all the time. Agricultural professionals deal in products that are extremely valuable to the public. If a business provides bad advice or products, consumers may experience harm. Professional liability insurance can help you recover from allegations of damages to consumers. They can also help you make changes to prevent these mistakes from happening again.
Workers’ Compensation: Employee wellness is extremely valuable to agricultural business. If an employee gets sick or hurt on the job, it may disrupt production and compromise your products. You might have to pay an injured employee, regardless of whether the injury was your fault. Workers’ comp insurance can help you compensate an incapacitated employee without hurting your finances.
Liability insurance can become very specific based on your unique business. Ask your agent about ways to specifically address certain liability risks.
Reducing Liability Risks in Your Business
Regardless of whether you carry liability insurance, you should create a safe workplace. Doing so greatly reduces the chances that something will happen to one of your employees. Therefore, you make yourself a much less risky customer in the eyes of your insurance company.
Your first step in securing your business should be to walk around the space. Take note of any materials, locations, machinery or commodities that might harm others in the right conditions. Make a list of potential risks, and then acquaint your insurance agent with your concerns. Doing so can help you pinpoint coverage that is right for you. Your insurance agent will likely ask you a lot of questions about your operation. Be honest with your agent to give them a comprehensive picture of your business.
- Follow guidelines required by your state and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA regulations make sure that employees have safe environments in which to work. Regulations usually are industry specific. They help keep your risks low and make your business a better place in which to work.
- Keep your machinery and processing equipment in good working order. During malfunctions, risks of business interruption and employee injuries increase. Make sure that these systems operate at optimal capacity and without damages. Only use your machinery for its intended purposes.
- Only allow trained employees to operate any sensitive equipment, machinery or systems. Most employees specialize in one or two operations. Don’t allow them to work in areas outside their professional realm. Doing so could put employee safety and the company’s insurance risks in jeopardy.
- Make sure employees are aware of practices to keep themselves and others safe while at work. Vigorously enforce safety rules.
- Maintain a sanitary working environment. Agricultural production involves materials that consumers trust will come to them without contamination. Unsanitary conditions pose risks to both employees and to the general public. You often have certain lawful sanitation standards you have to meet in order to operate.
- Require employees to use safety gear when necessary. These may include gloves, masks, boots, hard hats and other garments. Such requirements greatly reduce safety risks.
- Keep an eye on production. Any business wants to ensure that its product is fit for the consumer. Oversight helps ensure quality production and may help you catch potential consumer hazards.
- Have inspections of major systems like the electricity, plumbing, HVAC and gas. Doing so annually can help you ensure the safety of these systems.
- Keep dangerous items off the premises of your business. Separate and properly secure potentially hazardous items. Doing so greatly improves employee safety.
Remember, liability insurance isn’t the only type of protection your business needs. You likely need other comprehensive insurance to fully insure an agricultural business. However, liability coverage is an important starting point to secure your risks.
We have your business insurance needs at heart. Call us at 800.966.6481 for more information right now. You can also get a Tampa agribusiness insurance quote right now.