2014

Insurance Policies Agricultural Consultants and Farming Consulting Companies Need to Know

As the owner of an agricultural consulting company, you can protect your business with help from key insurance policies. They are…

General Liability Insurance for Agricultural Consulting Companies

General Liability Insurance can protect your agricultural consulting business from many liabilities it faces working with customers, traveling to their farms, working on their property, and dealing with other third parties.

General Liability Insurance pays for lawsuits filed by third parties, who include customers, clients, contractors, subcontractors, and other parties not employed by your business.

When your consulting firm is sued, your bill will include lawyer and paralegal expenses, court costs, and settlements / judgments, which are usually the most expensive item on the bill. A settlement or judgment is the amount that your firm would have to pay to the injured party.

The following types of third-party lawsuits can all be paid for by General Liability Insurance…

  • Property damage.
  • Personal injury.
  • Advertising injury.
  • Libel and slander claims.
  • Copyright infringement.

General Liability Insurance can protect your firm when a mail carrier slides on your muddy sidewalk and falls. If the mail carrier suffers an injury (breaking a leg or hurting their back), your business could be liable to pay for their medical bills and other damages. Fortunately, General Liability Insurance can pay for these expenses and keep your business from having to endure the sudden costs and distractions of a major lawsuit.

Property Insurance for Farming and Agricultural Consulting Firms

Property Insurance helps your consulting firm recover when it suffers an unexpected loss of property. Covered claims include…

  • Stolen business equipment.
  • Vandalized building / office space.
  • Property loss or damage as a result of certain weather events.
  • Fire damage.

You can include much of your commercial property under a Property Insurance plan. Equipment, office space, supplies, inventory, and other property can all be covered.

Many consultants do a lot of traveling, which leaves their office susceptible to theft. If you return from a business trip to find your office has been broken into and your computer and other office equipment is stolen, Property Insurance can reimburse you for the lost property, often getting you a check in a matter of days.

If you run your consulting firm from home, it's important to point out that your personal insurance (i.e. Homeowner's or Renter's Insurance) often doesn't cover your commercial property. If you have a work computer or other property in your office, you may need a separate policy to make sure it is covered.This infographic explains the difference between commercial and private business insurance for home-based small businesses.

Business Owner's Policies for Farming and Agricultural Consultancy Businesses

Business Owner's Policies (BOPs) are a package deal containing the first two policies we've discussed in this article: Property and General Liability Insurance.

The great thing about BOPs is that they can help you get your business insurance for less. BOPs are usually cheaper than purchasing GLI and Property Insurance on their own.

Unfortunately, insurance companies don't offer these discounts to all businesses. They only offer BOPs to companies that fit a "lower-risk" insurance profile. Your consulting company may qualify if it…

  • Doesn't work in an industry with higher insurance needs.
  • Doesn't have a large office space / premises.
  • Doesn't require more than one year's worth of Business Interruption Coverage (BIC).

Many businesses don't have these needs, and can qualify for a BOP. The last item on that list, Business Interruption Coverage, is a part of Property Insurance that can reimburse your company when it has to relocate or shut down after a covered Property Insurance claim. BIC can pay for your moving expenses as well as the income you lose while your business is unable to work at its old office.

When you get a free quote, our agents will check to see if you qualify for a BOP.

Cyber Liability Insurance for Agricultural Consulting Services

Cyber Liability Insurance (also called Data Breach Insurance or Cyber Risk Insurance) can protect your business's network and data liabilities in the event a hacker targets your computers.

Is this threat real? Yes. Studies show that the majority of cyber attacks target small businesses. And they can do a lot of damage. Forbes magazine calculates that the average cost of cyber attack is over five million dollars.

Consulting firms often collect lots of data from their customers. You might have billing information (including credit card or account number data), business data about a client, and private data about you, your employees, and your customers (including SSNs). If a hacker breaks into your network, all of this data could be exposed.

What happens when you're hacked? For starters, your business is probably legally required to inform your customers, employees, and other people whose data may have been exposed. This can cause you a major headache. Consultants like you rely on their professionalism and maintaining good relationships with clients. It's going to hurt your business when you tell each client that their data may have fallen into the hands of hacker.

First-Party Cyber Risk Insurance can cover…

  • Credit monitoring for clients whose data may have been hacked.
  • P.R. campaigns to rebuild your firm's name.
  • Crisis management to guide you smoothly through your response to the attack.

There is a second type of CLI called Third-party Coverage, which is for businesses that install or maintain networks, computers, and other electronics for their clients. If your consulting firm installs computer equipment for your clients, then you would need this insurance. Probably, for an agricultural consultant, First-Party Cyber Liability Insurance will be sufficient to cover your liabilities.

Errors and Omissions Coverage: Professional Business Insurance for Agricultural Consultants and Farming Consulting Companies

Errors & Omissions Insurance (also called E&O or Professional Liability Insurance) covers your business from lawsuits that make a claim about the quality or execution of your work.

In other words, E&O Insurance can pay for lawsuits where your client claims your consulting company…

  • Made mistakes or oversights in its agricultural recommendations.
  • Failed to produce the result you claimed.
  • Was negligent in its professional actions.

Let's say an organic farming consultant is sued by one of their clients. The consultant reviewed their farm and helped them make adjustments that would qualify them to be a USDA-certified organic farm. However, the Department of Agriculture didn't certify the farm because a neighboring farm's use of pesticides could theoretically taint their crops.

When this consulting agency is sued, their Errors and Omissions Insurance can pay for the related costs.

Workers' Compensation Insurance for Farming and Agricultural Consulting Firms

Almost every state mandates that businesses purchase Workers' Compensation Insurance (also called Worker's Comp or Workman's Comp) to cover their employees when they are injured or made ill from their work they do.

Everyone gets sick of work from time to time, but that's not what we're talking about here. If a consultant gets ill from pesticides they were exposed to while consulting at a firm, Worker's Comp can pay for their medical expenses.

When a consultant is visiting a farm and tears their ACL while walking through a newly plowed field, Worker's Comp can protect your business from the costs of medical bills, paid leave, and lawsuits.

Workman's Comp can pay for…

  • Medical bills (surgery, MRIs, treatment, etc.).
  • Paid recovery time if the employee is unable to work.
  • Legal bills to defend you (the employer) from lawsuits.
  • Funeral costs and support payments to the dependents of a deceased employee.

Workers' Comp is an important part of the insurance puzzle. It can keep your firm from paying for medical, legal, and other bills.

Insureon's Custom-Built Small Business Insurance for Agricultural Consultants and Farming Consulting Companies

Each of insureon's agents specializes in certain industries - that's good news for you, because your agent will be a trained specialist in agricultural consulting insurance.

Fill out our simple online insurance application, and work with a specialist in your field.

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