With the harvest over and the holidays just around the corner, we have entered a season full of popping corks and raising glasses. Wineries and wineries fall under Central’s manufacturing vertical, which covers a wide range of businesses, including metal goods, building materials and bakeries. This month we sat down with the Director of Manufacturing Underwriting, Anne Russo, to talk about vineyard coverage and learn more about how Central approaches writing policies for a vertical segment with needs and uses as varied as the wines they produce.
What is the coverage for vineyards and vineyards?
With vineyards and wineries, there is a coverage need that a typical commercial property form does not cover. Vineyard and vineyard cover bridges that cover everything from vines and trellis to pesticide exposure.
What are the unique considerations when it comes to vineyard coverage and risk?
Vineyards and vineyards are always a unique situation. They range from small hobby farms on properties with family-owned farms to giant, expansive businesses. Others have restaurants, hotel rooms, live events and on-site facilities. The areas of use, the possibilities and the levels of risk really go through, which makes it our task to ensure that they are properly covered.
In general, vineyard coverage includes an interesting combination of coverage, depending on how large or small the business is. When deciding on the right combination of coverage, we need to consider how a vineyard area is used. If a vineyard hosts wine tastings, it is a fairly well-controlled scenario when it comes to liability risks. Once you add live events like weddings, there is a lot more responsibility involved. Concerts are another popular winery use, and they provide a whole new level of risk with lots of people coming on site at the same time.
In addition to events, wineries also have plenty of equipment and food safety regulations to consider. If the equipment breaks down, it can potentially destroy a large batch of product. If things are not handled properly, it can pose a health risk. In addition, there are property reasons. Since many wineries are located in the countryside, we need to look at what fire services are available in the area. Are they full-time fire brigades or volunteer departments? There is only so much that goes into determining the risk with this group.
Because vineyards and vineyards are so different, there is nothing that suits everyone. At Central, we are proud of the relationship we have with our agents, especially in the manufacturing industry. Our team is specialized, but we can not be experts in every single winery or producer, so we rely on our agents and their relationships with customers. As reliable partners, our agents can provide insights on everything from what is different with a particular vineyard to why they are a good fit for Central to how we best fit coverage. All their knowledge contributes to discussions about coverage and pricing – and ultimately to the policy we write for them. It is important that we have a relationship with our agents where we can trust what they send us with the knowledge that they have our best interests in mind, just as we do with them.
Any interesting stories about wineries to share?
Not anyone myself, but I grew up near Lake Erie which was the site of a major winery accident in 2000. There is a historic winery on Middle Bass Island that had a terrace collapse during dozens of tourists, resulting in 75 injuries and one death.
The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. When you have a property loss with a historic building, there are a lot of extra rings you have to jump through to make sure everything is rebuilt properly. The materials and techniques also tend to be more expensive. In this case, wine was obviously involved. There could have been an alcohol exposure of it, as well as general premises exposure with damage as a result of the collapse. By having to shut down for a period, they would also have lost income. You look at so many different coverages from just one incident, which is why it’s important to really understand usage, risks and responsibilities when writing for wineries.
If Central were a wine, how would it be described?
“Uncompromising quality nurtured by a community of friends and partners.”
The information above is of a general nature and your insurance and coverage provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your entire policy to determine your actual coverage.