Agritourism Is Good Business & Risky

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North Bay Farm Risks

North Bay Farms, ranches and winery’s offer access to the general public for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes. Agritourism activities include everything from a bed and breakfast, a corn maze, an educational field trip, a store or wine tasting, to “pick your own” and roadside farm stands. It is important to understand your increased liability, by having visitors on your property. Whether you’re a local grower or a large cultivator, we understand the value of insuring your greatest asset. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we’re dedicated to providing the agricultural coverage and services you need to keep your farm or ranch protected so you can focus on maintaining a smooth operation.

Here Are Three Issues To Remember

Almost 30 million children visit farms and ranches each year according to the US government.

Most visitors are unfamiliar with the agricultural environment. Owners need to ensure the safety and health of all guests visiting their operations.

Here are a few safety tips for you to consider as part of your Agritourism activities:

  • Develop emergency plans just in case the worst happens. Have procedures in place for major injuries, heart attacks, pet bites, and more.
  • If you serve food make sure you follow all the state food handling policies.
  • Make sure you have traffic control procedures and extra staff if needed.
  • Address the safety issues with all ponds, machinery, and chemicals.
  • Do you use outside vendors? If so, make sure you obtain certificates of insurance.
  • If you have rides of any kind you should require a waiver of liability.
  • Have safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits throughout the farm.
  • Use signs to post rules and vehicle speeds.
  • Train your employees on all safety measures.

Implementation of these guidelines is not intended to absolve the farm owner of all liability. They are, however, intended to reduce the risk of a guest being injured and to demonstrate a “good faith” effort to protect guests.

You’ve worked hard to build your farm into a business. North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. will work even harder to ensure that your business is protected. We provide insurance solutions for farmers near Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and American Canyon.

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The Wild And Wacky World Of Homeowners Claims

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North Bay Homeowners Insurance

North Bay homeowners insurance plays an important role in society. It protects your most important financial asset, your home. When most people think of damage to their home, they tend to think of fire or theft. Well, there are many other kinds of accidents that can cause damage to your home that are covered under most homeowner’s insurance policies. Remember each homeowner’s insurance policy is different, and if you bought your homeowners insurance on line you may not have proper coverage.  Claims will be paid based on your individual homeowner’s policy terms and conditions.

North Bay Homeowners Insurance Claims

  • A homeowner accidently spilled bleach on her carpet while carrying in the groceries. Insurance covered the replacement of the carpet.
  • A Christmas tree stand leaked water onto the homeowner’s hardwood floors. The homeowner did not realize the stand had leaked until they removed the tree skirt. The insurance company paid to repair the damage.
  • Lightening stuck a water pump causing the pump to leak. The entire bottom floor of the insured’s home was flooded resulting in $52,000 in property damage.
  • A son was cutting down a tree on his parent’s property. A limb from the tree fell on a visiting neighbor and $3,000 was paid out in bodily injury damages.
  • A homeowner awoke to a bang, to find an airplane part had fallen through his roof. The claim was covered by the insurer. No airline admitted liability.
  • A homeowner left his gas grill on by mistake. The grill was on a deck and close to the home; a fire caused $24,000 damage to the deck and home.
  • A homeowner had some expensive lighting on the walkway of his house. The lanterns were unique and hard to replace, but one of them was damaged in a storm. Because the homeowner was unable to purchase a match, the insurance company had to pay to replace both lanterns.

All these claims were subject to policy terms and deductibles.

Many homeowners don’t fully understand what their home insurance policy covers and excludes. For example, more than 37 percent of people who have homeowners insurance mistakenly believe flood damage is covered by a standard homeowner’s policy, according to a 2011 survey from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

To avoid making costly assumptions, it pays to know what’s included in your policy. We are here to help answer all your insurance questions.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we know how hard you’ve worked to turn your house into a home. Since your home is one of the most important financial investments of your lifetime, you’ll need proper coverage in order to keep your investment protected and provide your family with the guarantee that they’ll always be safe and sound.

Is Our Sharing Economy Creating New Risks For You?

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Uber, Airbnb and VRBO may increase your personal liability risk

We live in a digital world that now allows us to share everything from our car, bike, boat, apartment and even our home with total strangers. Smart phones, and the applications that can be added, offer many useful tools, but some of these things create new and increased liability for you. Before you decide to jump into the sharing economy consider the following:

  1. Do these sharing sites have the ability to protect your confidential information? Many times you are giving your credit card information to companies that may not have the ability to protect it.
  2. If you use Airbnb to sublease your apartment, you might check your lease. Many lease agreements have “no sublease” clauses that do not allow for this kind of activity. Also, some big cities are now actually considering outlawing the Airbnb services as it reduces hotel/motel taxes.
  3. Uber offers a taxi service where individuals can offer rides to those who subscribe. Are you confident that these individuals have had proper background checks? Are they experienced drivers? Do they have the correct insurance? Remember, even in states that have mandatory auto insurance laws, over 25% of drivers don’t have insurance.
  4. Personal auto insurance issues should be considered if using your car for hire. There is a big difference in the auto insurance world between a car pool for work and being paid to deliver people.
  5. Renting your home may limit of reduce your homeowners insurance. Call our office for a review.

The use of the new sharing economy will most likely continue and may be a good way to save money. However, if you have an uninsured claim, the cost may be much greater than the savings. Be aware that using these services may increase your risk of loss. The insurance industry will respond over time to the sharing economy, but in the meantime, there are limitations and restrictions in your current homeowner’s and personal auto insurance policies of which you need to be aware.

At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we know how hard you’ve worked to turn your house into a home. Since your home is one of the most important financial investments of your lifetime, you’ll need proper coverage in order to keep your investment protected and provide your family with the guarantee that they’ll always be safe and sound