4 Best Practices for Insuring Greenhouses

Written by David Cavey on Monday, 06 November 2017. Posted in North Central Insurance News

4 Best Practices for Insuring Greenhouses

Best Practices for Insuring Greenhouses

David W. Cavey is the owner and President of North Central Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency offering farm insurance and many other insurance products throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania.

For the purposes of today’s discussion, I will concentrate on Greenhouse Insurance as it applies to a farm insurance policy. If you have a commercial nursery operation then you most likely, or should have a commercial insurance policy and that deserves its own discussion.

With the farm to table movement many small sustainable farms are popping up and that’s a great thing. Both new and seasoned farmers are getting into this market. To ensure the natural process and get a jump on Mother Nature many farmers have constructed Greenhouses. Here are a few things that can keep insuring your Greenhouse from growing into an issue:

  • A Greenhouse is considered a Farm Structure. Although some farm policies allow a grace period to add a new structure, farm structures are not automatically covered. You have to contact your agent or company representative to add the structure.
  • Insurance companies want to make sure that your Greenhouse is of sound construction. A plywood structure with thin ply plastic covering may not cut it. Older glass panel Greenhouses can also be an issue. Hoop Houses, that are popular now, are usually acceptable. The insurance company wants to make sure that it is secured properly. If the structure is permanently secured on a masonry foundation they may offer discount pricing and broader coverage. Some insurance companies may not offer “broad” form coverage on Greenhouses. This would eliminate collapse from the weight of ice and snow. So be sure you ask about the coverage that is being offered.
  • Make sure that you are insuring your Greenhouse to the proper value. Most insurance companies require that farm structures are covered for at least 80% of the Replacement Value under Actual Cash Value coverage. Insuring it for a lessor value could cause settlement issues if a claim arises. If you’re not sure what value to insure your Greenhouse or any farm structure your agent or company representative should have construction value software available. Depending on the age and construction of the structure, replacement cost coverage may be available.
  • Contents of a farm structure are not typically included in the structure value. They have to be added to the Farm Personal Property section of your farm policy. If items such as your heating and lighting system or racks are permanently installed then they are typically included in the structure value.

We have just touched a few items about insuring Greenhouses. Clear and honest discussion with a knowledgeable farm insurance agent is key in making sure you have the insurance you need. Give us a call to find out how we can help you properly insure your greenhouses.

Happy Growing!

David W. Cavey – President
North Central Insurance Agency

About the Author

David Cavey

David Cavey

David is owner and principle at North Central Insurance agency. David and his Father started North Central Insurance Agency and 1985. He has been serving the insurance needs of his clients ever since. Living his entire life in the “Hereford Zone” David is very active in the community and serves on the boards of Grace United Methodist Church, Herford Parade, Hereford Zone business association, which he is a past president and the Hereford Junior Farm Fair ware he serves as president. He has been married to his wife Kym for 24 years and has 3 children. David and his family also own Hereford Sports and Justchillin Snowballs. All three businesses are located in Hereford.
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