Property insurance: Who needs it? Why and when?

barn on a farm

Question: I run training and boarding business from my barn and also give lessons to non-boarders. What type of coverages do I need to be fully protected?

Answer: Realize that first party property insurance (outlined below) covers property that belongs to you, or for which you have an “insurable interest”. Ask/consider the following:

  • Do you own the barn/property?

    If yes, make sure it is fully insured (includes home, barn, arena, outbuildings, personal property inside each building).

  • What property limits of insurance are needed?

    • Consider cost to rebuild the structures.
    • List personal property in each structure (household personal property and business personal property are NOT treated the same).
    • Consider separately scheduling items of significant value and farm machinery and equipment.

  • Do you lease your barn from another person?

    • Review your lease carefully for insurance obligations!
    • Do you carry the insurance? If so, is a limit stated? Do you have to carry general liability as well as property? Do you have to name the property owner as an additional insured on the policy?
    • You want to be fully compliant – or risk breach of contract.

  • Who else uses your facility?

  • In order to fully protect your business, you must make sure any outside trainers teaching lessons from your barn have their own liability coverage that would address injuries sustained by their students.
    • They should name you/your business as an Additional Insured on their policies so you are protected from their independent negligence.
    • If you hold shows or similar events on your property, discuss this with your insurance agent – as you may need to obtain special coverage.
    • If you don’t own the property, you may need to add the facility owner and/or sponsor as an Additional Insured on your policy.
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