Folks who have a greenhouse at their home have unique obstacles to face if damage were to happen to their investment, even if this is just simply a hobby for them. Homeowners insurance policies are varied depending upon which type you purchase. However, they are pretty specific about what they will cover and what is excluded across the board. The general consensus is that you are protected from loss as far as your home and the contents therein, as well as liability for anyone who may becomes injured while on your property. This includes any type of structure that is related to your home but detached from the house as in patios, garages, sheds, walls, driveways, sidewalks, anything that is used strictly for personal purposes.
A majority of homeowners policies, however, will not cover any kind of building or structure that is used for business reasons, and that includes greenhouses where you may be growing plants or flowers that you intend to sell for profit. The homeowners insurance is only applicable if the structure is there solely for personal purposes. If you are, in fact, only using it as a personal structure, then you will need to find out if a personal property that is in an open area will be covered by your plan and what the value will be on this particular structure. You will also need to check out the following information:
- If your carrier will actually agree to cover the greenhouse as a business, you’ll need to know if you will have crop exposure coverage as your income will be reliant on the plants. You will also need to know about future income loss in the instance of any type of catastrophic event that may prevent you from a fast rebuild in time enough to maintain production.
- If loss occurs due to the weight of snow, power interruption, wind, or any other type of peril to bring loss of the structure, will it be covered by your insurance policy and what particular conditions will apply.
- Obtain suggestions from the insurance carrier as to a maintenance program you can implement in order to gain the highest preparation for any type of disaster.
Things to keep in mind:
- Be sure to have a generator for the greenhouse, that it is in operational order, and add a stabilizer into the fuel. This is essential in instances of power outages.
- You can maintain climate control by sectioning off certain areas or creating a temporary/permanent closure of a structure using greenhouse coverings you have as backup or temporary bracings.
If you have a greenhouse on your property and you use it as a form of income, your standard homeowners policy is most likely not going to cover it as you are using it for business purposes. You will need to obtain a commercial insurance policy to go along with your standard policy, same as most farmers and ranchers who live and work on their property would do. Obtaining a loss in this situation would not just be personally devastating but it would be financially draining as well. This is why standard coverage would not be adequate and greenhouse coverage is essential.
There are customized greenhouse insurance policies that allow for the needs of greenhouse owners. The plan should cover the typical events that can arise including severe weather as well as theft, fire, or any damage otherwise to the structure, and any liability.
- Liability. You need to invest in personal liability protection which can be customized in order to meet the particular needs of your business, e.g. if a customer would happen to fall on your property.
- Commercial. When you run a business, you need to get commercial property insurance which will cover the building where the greenhouse is located as well as the items including the plants and equipment within the greenhouse.
- Income. If your business is deemed inoperable due to a catastrophic event, business income insurance will replace the loss of income that you suffer.
- Workers. If you are going to have anyone working with you in your business, you will need to have workers compensation insurance. Most states have a requirement for employers to have this in case an employee is injured on the job.
The most important thing that you need to do when you obtain insurance for a greenhouse is to be sure to obtain a policy where you receive replacement cost as opposed to actual cost. It is more expensive than actual cost but will be most worth it if an event comes along and destroys all that you have gained within your greenhouse. Everyday things change, plants grow, production increases, and you want that to be replaced. This is something you work hard to maintain and you should be covered.