Let’s think about a large vineyard, one that has heavy-duty machinery, a café, promotes the vineyard through tours and tasting and may even host weddings.

Admittedly, not all vineyards will offer this range of services but it is common for larger UK based vineyards to partake in all of the above.

So, what exactly is usually covered by a standard ‘off the shelf’ business insurance policy which many of you may have for your vineyard business?

  •  Employer’s liability – designed to pay compensation costs and legal fees if an employee or ex-employee sues for illness or injury caused by their work.
  •  Public Liability – pays compensation for accidental injury or damage.
  •  Material Damage – cover for damage to your stock and contents.

That probably isn’t as much as you thought you had covered! Let’s explore what may or may not be covered, and why you probably need to consider reviewing your current contract and look into additional policies and covers.

  • Machinery and Plant – the majority of lifting equipment needs to undergo a compulsory statutory inspection, this requirement is not included as standard.   
  •  Cafés – if you have stated to your insurers that you have a café on site, you will be covered, however preparing and selling food, particularly hot food, and selling alcohol to be consumed on site, can come with their own conditions and these need to be adhered to.
  •  Seasonal increases – during peak seasons stock becomes more valuable, and consequently the level of risk increases with this. If you are a vineyard owner, we highly recommend you ensure that seasonal increases are covered under your insurance policy.
  • Event insurance – rather than an additional policy, this is more about extending your existing cover to ensure that you have adequate cover to protect you if you are attending wine, food, music festivals or conferences. Similarly, if you are taking stock with you to these events, you need to make sure that your policy covers you for material damage (i.e. your stock is damaged by a fire, flood or such event).
  • Vehicles – tractors and other agricultural vehicles need to be insured separately and are not normally insured under a business policy as standard. The reason for this is that these types of vehicles are commonly used both on and off public roads, meaning that they need an additional policy to ensure they have the cover they need.