Ask a Question forum: Liability Insurance for Microgreen Home-Based Grower

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Rochester NY
Bails123
Feb 7, 2018 4:33 PM CST
Hello, my son and I would like to start a small home-based microgreen business selling to local restaurants. I understand we need product liability insurance and the "normal" insurance companies charge around $1200 for this.

Have you folks heard of any insurance company that specializes in home-based gardening and/or microgreen businesses?

Thanks!
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Feb 8, 2018 5:04 AM CST
From your question I gather you are not happy with your estimate of $1,200!
How do you know that they charge this amount? Do you actually have quotes? I admittedly know nothing about the micro-green business but if you are supplying food to restaurants, $1,200 seems like a miniscule amount. You are talking about food being consumed by people who could get ill from salad greens or other items. These outbreaks of Sslmonella sicken dozens and have killed a few people. And you think twelve hundred is too much?
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Rochester NY
Bails123
Feb 9, 2018 6:32 PM CST
Thanks Bill.
I see your point. I agree that food can be dangerous...

I got quotes from my insurance broker for $1200. He has access to several companies. I also contacted the Cornell Agriculture Cooperative and the leader said there are no companies specializing in Microgreens or similar that he knows of.

I was hoping to find a cheaper source and my high school son were going to do this as a side business. We are currently growing for ourselves at the moment. We have much of the supplies we need. So I guess we'll talk to local chef's and buy insurance before the first order.

If anyone knows of a niche insurance supplier let me know...
Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Feb 9, 2018 6:37 PM CST
If you can get past all the hurdles, it probably will be a very good side business to be in. Good luck!
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 9, 2018 6:56 PM CST
You might try contacting these folks. If you start out by selling at the West Side Market you may make some connections, learn the
ropes and hopefully the restaurants you hope to attract will find your micro-greens to be exactly what they are seeking.
http://www.westsidemarketroche...
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Feb 9, 2018 7:00 PM CST
Good luck Bails 123 with your business idea.
Make sure you get insurance to safeguard your home and possessions in the event something happened. They could only come after the business and its holdings or whatever but couldn't touch your home in an attempt to recover money in a suit.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Rochester NY
Bails123
Feb 13, 2018 2:59 PM CST
Thank you Greene. I will do that. I really like the Rochester market.

Thank you too BigBill. I agree that the insurance is worth it as it protects home and savings etc. Not worth the gamble.

I'll let you all know if I find a niche insurance provider that focuses on this area.

Thanks!
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Nut!
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Clematis Region: Michigan Adeniums
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BigBill
Feb 14, 2018 5:26 AM CST
Welcome!
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Feb 14, 2018 6:03 AM CST
Have you tried Google using the keywords: market garden liability insurance? I got a number of results doing that, some from insurance companies, and also including this overview:

https://www.motherearthnews.co...
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
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fwmosher
Feb 20, 2018 12:34 PM CST
There are hundreds of thousands of Farm Markets in Canada! None have Insurance. Nor is it required. If you want to sell micro greens to Restaurants, just do it. Make certain you have Customers first! Use standard growing and watering procedures. No Restaurant will buy from you if they are not happy with your product, and how would they ever link you to a "bad" product with all the potential sources they buy from. If one checks the "recall" records by US and Can Agriculture/Food Safety orgs : Romaine Lettuce, Spinach and Green Onions are by far the ring leaders, most grown in Southern California! Largely because it is common practice to fertilize with animal manure, and thus the source of Salmonella. Additionally, they are constrained with lack of "washing" water. When you a buy a bag of any of these products, most clearly state: "Wash Well!" I find it really difficult to imagine that a "SWATT" team is going to jump out of helicopters and storm your "micro green" facilities. Perhaps??? Sometimes, too much information is simply too much! Just do it! Cheers!
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Clematis Region: Michigan Adeniums
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BigBill
Feb 20, 2018 1:13 PM CST
The United States can be very litigious!! Make sure you send the settlement from your first lawsuit to mosher!! Hilarious!
In that way he can pay for the settlement.
When Chipotle was found to be serving unclean greens, I never went back. A few in SW Florida closed after that issue. One claim could wipe this little operation out before it really starts.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Feb 20, 2018 4:40 PM CST
Googling farmer's market liability insurance Canada brings up a lot of results, Frank.
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
Feb 20, 2018 5:03 PM CST
Bill, (buddy), you are overreacting! Chill out! We are not talking about a "Chain Restaurant" here, we are talking about a Mom and Son dream of growing "microgreens" in their house, and reselling same on a very small scale! Don't talk them out of it! Encourage them! From your own statement, it is not the little hobby producers being sued, it is "the chains!" I know all about litigation and the US penchant for same, but this potential small business is a far cry from any probable litigation! Most jobs in both the US and Canada, are generated from small business entrepreneurs! While holding down goods jobs, I started up several on the side! Very successful, No regrets! No insurance! Cheers!
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Nut!
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Clematis Region: Michigan Adeniums
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
BigBill
Feb 20, 2018 5:32 PM CST
Oh, I am not overreacting. I may be overly cautious and concerned for their assets. But strange things happen all the time.
In SC where my sister is, and I just visited, some crazy homeless man sued the neighboring community of Newberry for harassment and brutality amongst other things. He set himself up on a corner, in the street, cursing, throwing things into the street etc. etc.
The police got numerous complaints from citizens about this fellow and he sued the town and its police force and was awarded $40,000! He said he was just trying to spread the word about God.
Now he has set up shop in my sisters town and is doing the same thing. Is he weird, crazy or just smart and plays the system? I bet you he ends up suing this new town and collects as they would just like him to move on. Would you and you family like to be accosted like that?
So what is a little insurance and maybe incorporating and protecting some one from suing this restaurant, including a micro green producer if some one gets seriously ill? Better safe than sorry makes sense to me when you have assets that need to be protected.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
[Last edited by BigBill - Feb 20, 2018 5:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Feb 20, 2018 5:32 PM CST
@Bails123

Welcome to NGA Here is some info for you from the New York State dept of agriculture and a couple other sites FYI

I hope this info is of use to you. Best of luck to you and your son.

https://www.agriculture.ny.gov...

http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com...

https://www.fliprogram.com/far...

http://justfood.org/sites/defa...

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