Insurance to carry on unused land?

Asked October 29, 2015, 5:03 PM EDT

Hello. I have some land that is currently not being used and has become overgrown. I am moving forward with trying to find someone who wants to clean it up and lease or buy it. What kind of insurance should I be carrying on it? Thank you.

Clackamas County Oregon insurance small farm issues

2 Responses

It can be difficult finding an insurance company or agent that understands farm business and that you trust and feel comfortable with. A first step may include finding other farms in your area that are doing similar activities as you plan to do and asking them who they are insured with. Also check with the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Insurance Division. They can give you tips about how to find an agent and other consumer information.

Paying insurance premiums is something that nobody looks forward to. However, if you would like to transfer some of the risk, an insurance policy is an effective way to do it.

Usually when farmers think of protecting their farms, they are thinking about the possibility of buildings burning in fire, loss from theft, or crop failure and of course there are insurance policies available for these things (the USDA- Risk Management Agency offers certain crop and livestock insurance, for example). General farm and ranch liability umbrella policies covering a certain amount of liability and various activities are also readily available. As you look for this type of policy, it’s important to be completely honest with your insurance agent and let them know exactly what activities or products you plan to offer to customers to be sure that these sorts of things are covered. For example, adding to your business plan some agritourism activities (e.g., wagon or pony rides), it would be in your best interest check in with your agent. Or, selling higher risk products like meat or dairy. If you are holding a one-time event it may be important to call your insurance agent beforehand to check whether or not your policy covers the activities that will take place. In some cases you can add those activities for a small fee to cover just that event.

Your best bet is to talk with a local insurance agent that works with farms. You can email me at heidi.noordijk@oregonstate.edu for a list of agents in our area.

Thanks so much, Heidi! I have sent you a separate email asking for that list of agents. Karen