I am a new small farm owner, what insurance do I need?

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I am a new small farm owner, what insurance do I need?

You just realized your dreams; you have bought 10 acres of heaven. It’s a lifestyle choice. Your new property has many names. Mini farm, hobby farm and even gentleman’s farm. You dream of growing fruits and vegetables, but also plan on some livestock. Chickens. For sure, but also horses, goats and maybe a cow. You also have some outbuildings, vehicles and equipment for your little bit of heaven in Idaho, Washington, or Montana.

A couple of years pass, and your hard work is paying off. You’re selling your surplus organic produce at the farmers market and are thinking about joining your local cooperative. Your insurance agent has covered your home and property with a traditional homeowner’s property, which may or may not cover limited farming activities. You have worked too hard to take a chance on your valuable assets, because once production and product sales occur, a farm or a farmpak policy may be right for you. Significant loss of equipment, structures, products or livestock would be a serious blow, and could set you back years.

Hobby farms account for at least a 15 % percent in rural populations in the last 10 years. About half of farms are now hobby farms. As mini farms grow, it is important to understand that typical homeowners insurance is not adequate because of the standard exclusion for “business/farming activities”.

For example, larger animals such as cows and horses are excluded from a standard homeowners policy, and farming activity may be excluded as a business pursuit

Examples of possible gaps in coverage with a homeowners policy.

You decide to sell some of the wonderful eggs your hens have laid. Unfortunately, food poisoning happens and you may not have the liability protection you need.

You are boarding some horses for friends. During a bad storm, they escape and are hit by a car in the road. Your exposure may not be covered. Boarding horses can potentially be considered an excluded business pursuit.

A specialized farm owners policy may be exactly what you need. We represent many companies that have custom packages for your needs.

What kind of farm policy do I need?

First, you need to have a clear idea of what you produce, how much and what is sold. You also need to have the correct dwelling, vehicle and personal liability exposure,

You also need to determine coverage needs for outbuildings, livestock, and business interruption, from there we can design a policy to fit your needs for your Northwestern farm.

Need to evaluate your policy often

It is important that you keep us informed as to what you are doing farm-wise. Have your plan for expansion/ addition and let us make sure you are covered.

With the increasing popularity of hobby farms and locally grown organic food, the need for proper insurance protection is growing. The farm owners policy can be a great insurance solution.

For your small, or large farm needs give our farm expert, Toni Norton, a call at 208-762-2122 or drop her a line at