The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Farmer's market liability insurance

Emelye's picture

Farmer's market liability insurance

I've been slowly ramping up to gain the capacity to produce baked goods in my home for sale at the local farmer's market.  Trying to cover all the bases I asked my insurance agent yesterday about potential liability and insurance to cover it.  She didn't know right off and promised to get back to me.

Today I received an email from her stating my homeowner's insurance company doesn't offer any insurance that covers home based food production and, to make matters worse, they threatened to cancel my policy outright if I started baking and selling at the local market.  She said none of the other comapnies she contacted would write a policy that covered this circumstance either.

Has anyone else run into this issue before?  I live in Chautauqua county, in SW New York State.  Have you found an insurance company that would cover home based food production or did that just push you into finding a certified kitchen to bake your goods?  Sigh, this really stinks.  :(

mimifix's picture

Hi Emelye,

The Fresh Loaf has had many discussions about insurance and I'm sure other members will jump in... There are two kinds of insurance. For your production facility (in your case a home kitchen), a homeowners policy sometimes suffices, sometimes with a rider. But some agencies refuse to write this kind of policy. The other insurance is liability (sometimes called vendors' insurance) to protect businesses and vendors from product problems. Since you are in NY, contact the Small Scale Food Processors Association. They are in the process of getting a group policy.


Emelye's picture

Thank you, Mimi, I'll check it out!

fiddlehead's picture

I just started selling at a FM this year and was able to find insurance through Farm Bureau.  It is for the market only but it does cover product liability etc.  The Farmers Market Coalition also offers a policy that is available nationally that is similar , you can find more info on their website.  You may also have luck with your state farmers market association.  I thought they were both a little expensive but they may be worthwhile if you can't find another option. Good luck!