What to know before you buy

Consider the size and value of your business

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement and without at least £5m worth of cover, businesses can face daily penalties of up to £2,500. If your vineyard isn’t a limited company and you only employ close family members, you may be exempt, but it’s still a good idea to protect yourself.

When thinking about the value of your vineyard it is important to consider whether you could cope with a loss of income should there be damage to the business. Business interruption insurance would cover this if the damage to the vineyard was caused by an insured peril such as a fire, flood or similar incident.

Think about the extras

Larger vineyards often have a number of additional elements which can range from large machinery to tasting events, many of which may not have the cover they need should your insurance be an ‘off the shelf’ business policy.

  •  Machinery and plant – lifting equipment needs to undergo a compulsory statutory inspection, this generally isn’t included in your insurance as standard.
  •  Seasonal increases – during peak seasons your stock will rise in value and subsequently so does the risk. You should ensure that these increases are covered in your insurance.
  •  Events – if you attend trade shows, conferences or festivals you need to make sure that you extend your insurance to cover both yourself and any stock you are taking with you.
  •  Vehicles – tractors and other agricultural vehicles need to be insured separately as they are commonly used both on and off public roads.

Do customers visit your vineyard?

If the answer is yes, you will need to ensure that you have public liability insurance. This helps to protect your vineyard from compensation payments and legal costs arising from personal injury and property damage claims made by your customers, passers-by, or people you visit.

Public liability insurance may cover everything from minor incidents in the work place to large claims that could force you out of business (subject to the terms and conditions of your policy). Although this cover is not a legal requirement, it is normally taken out by businesses that have dealings with the general public.

Make sure your policy is always up to date

As a vineyard owner, you need to fully understand the value of your business assets before taking out your insurance; your broker can talk you through everything and it is advisable to schedule in a yearly insurance health check.

In the event of serious damage to your property, e.g. a major fire, the ‘extra’ costs around a rebuild are quite often forgotten until it is too late. Be sure to think about costs such as debris removal and surveyor fees when considering the cost of a rebuild.

Use a reputable, experienced insurance provider

It is a common misconception that if you purchase your insurance online it will be less expensive, but should you have to claim, you could find yourself uninsured for aspects of your business you didn’t necessarily think about.

By finding an experienced insurance provider like Lansdown, you will be given honest advice and guided on what elements of cover you need in order to keep your vineyard safe.

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