Vineyards – Types of Insurance Cover

Due to their unique nature, vineyards of all sizes are presented with an unusual blend of exposures that need to be managed. Wine producers face different types of risk not normally seen together in the same industry. For example, vineyards that grow their own vines have to be concerned about agricultural industry woes like crop health while also managing the same responsibilities faced by any commercial business that makes and sells a product.

Because no two vineyards are alike, it is important to carefully study exposures based on unique operations to ensure that all risks are covered.

Potential Exposures

Crop risks – Grapes are susceptible to a variety of disasters such as hail, drought, floods, pests, infections and bacteria, among other things. These problems have the potential to wreck more than a year’s production since vines need time to re-establish themselves before they can return to their regular output after extensive damage.

Contamination – Because the purity of the grape is so deeply connected to the taste of the end product, contamination is a major liability. From the vine to the finished product, contamination can occur at nearly any point in the process. Whatever the case, if a crop’s quality is compromised, it could make some or all of the grapes unusable.

Intellectual property – The unique root stock that grapes come from can be considered intellectual property. Whether you grow your own grapes or purchase them, use of unlicensed root stock or their produce could constitute patent infringement. Intellectual property claims can also arise from labelling conflicts where one party copies some or all of another party’s label design. Costs can be incurred if you are sued by someone else or if you have to take actions against a company guilty of infringing on your brand.

Product recall and liability – No matter what the industry, every manufacturer faces the possibility that an issue could be found with a product after it has been distributed. The resulting product recall can involve lost time, extra shipping charges and losses associated with not having a sellable product available for consumers. Even if you are not responsible for a product recall, widespread damage to the industry can occur if another wine product erodes consumer confidence.

Storage and shipping – In order to preserve quality, special precautions may need to be taken during storage and shipping. If a product is stored offsite or transported by an outside party you still may be responsible for the product’s safety.

Employer’s liability – Even if the vineyard operates with a small number of staff there is always a chance for workplace injury. This risk increases with the size of the operation, especially if you grow your own grapes and must employ additional workers for planting and harvesting.

Public liability – Tours, hosting events, running an onsite retail shop or involvement in any other function that opens the business to the public, will increase the chance that a non employee will be injured at the property. Based on the cause of injury,  the property owner could be held liable.

Vineyard Cover

The above exposures are commonly covered in vineyard policies. Such policies are a group of covers packaged together, designed specifically to protect against common industry risks. However, because of variations between operations, it is not uncommon for vineyards to need more or less of certain covers. One size does not fit all, making it important to compare different policies against your unique needs. Performing an in-depth analysis of your exposures will help you maintain the proper level of cover.

Count on the Experts

Because each individual vineyard may face a unique set of risks, it is important to team up with an experienced insurance broker who understands your company and can knowledgeably review your situation to design a policy tailored to your exact needs. Contact us today 01342 580106 to learn more about vineyard covers.

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