Farmers markets: What kind of insurance do I need?

Insurance for vendors
Your booth at the farmers market is beautifully stocked with fresh produce and even a few homemade goodies. You greet each customer, welcome your regulars, and make recommendations on how to serve this week’s harvest.

But what would happen if a customer got sick from something you sold? Even careful farmers can end up with a listeria outbreak or other contamination. Food borne illnesses can be serious, and medical expenses add up quickly.

Product liability insurance protects you as an individual, should you get sued. With the right coverage, your customers will be able to get the medical attention they need — and you won’t risk losing the farm!

Talk to your agent about selling your produce and other goods so they can help you with general liability and product liability coverage. Getting the right insurance might be easier than you think.  

If you’re a farmer selling fruits or vegetables at a roadside stand or farmers market, you likely already have a farm liability policy. Farm liability policies often have language specific to when product liability is covered and when it is not. Talk to your agent to find out if your policy has limitations. 

Insurance for organizers
Those who host farmers markets need insurance, too. Commercial general liability insurance provides general liability, insuring you, as the organizer.

This insurance is not intended, however, to extend coverage to your vendors or their customers. That’s why it’s a good idea to require vendors carry their own insurance that includes product liability. If you don’t require proof of insurance, you put your own organization at risk. As added protection, you should require each vendor to name your organization as an additional insured on their policy.

With these tips, you're sure to reap the full harvest of benefits from selling your produce and goods.

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