Hobby farms in Ontario are defined as: farms that are on 100 acres or less of workable land, contain less than six animals (animals that can be saddled are not included in that count), and generate no more than $8,000 gross income during the year. Basically, a hobby farm isn’t going to be your primary income generator but can encompass anything from a small chicken coop and a goat to a larger garden used to stock a booth at a local farmer’s market for the summer season.
As a hobby farmer, you won’t be using your hobby farm as your full-time job; the majority of your income will come from an off-farm job. However, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t still investing a lot of time and money into this project. You have to wake up early to feed your animals, water and fertilize your plants, and keep track of harvest times in order to create something out of the plants and animals that you have cared for during the year.
You might just be using the products of your farm at home to feed yourself and your family, or you could be branching out as a small business to sell your goods at local markets throughout the year. Either way, you want to make sure that you protect your investment with the right hobby farm insurance policy.
Hobby farm insurance policies are designed to take into consideration the diversity of hobby farms that people have in Ontario. Hobby farm insurance can cover things like outbuildings that your personal insurance wouldn’t cover in case of an accident or damage. You need insurance to cover your animals, your barns or other outbuildings used in the working of your farm, equipment, and any produce coming from your farm.
Hobby farm insurance can offer protection against water damage to buildings, liability coverage, coverage for losses of product due to a robbery, and protections for poultry, eggs, livestock, and produce. It can also help you in case your animals are injured or killed, or if they cause damage in some way (for instance, if they get loose and are hit by a vehicle on the road).
Hobby farm insurance usually costs less than farm insurance because your operation will be smaller than a standard farm. However, just because the activity is happening in your backyard doesn’t mean you don’t need an insurance policy to keep you and your hobby farm protected.
Hobby farm policies help cover the wide range of equipment, buildings, and work that you do on your farm. From getting up early to feed and water your goats, chickens, horses, and cows, too careful fertilizing your garden and investing in a greenhouse structure for the winter, there are many ways in which you financially and personally invest in your hobby farm.
Structures: For starters, hobby farm insurance protects structures. If you have a small shed, greenhouse, barn, or other outbuilding that you use for farm equipment, this can be covered under your hobby farm insurance policy. You will also need specific coverage for the farm equipment you have, which might include a small tractor in addition to more generic gardening equipment.
Livestock: Additionally, hobby farm insurance can protect your livestock. Hobby farmers are often able to insure individual animals or get them covered as part of a blanket policy with an agreed upon coverage value. You can choose your coverage amount based on the value of your animals as well as the value of products like eggs, milk, or meat that you obtain from that livestock.
Liability: One of the most important parts of an insurance policy is the liability coverage. This helps you in case of a lawsuit filed against you. For instance, if you sell your product at a local market and someone gets sick because of it, they could bring legal action against you. Your liability insurance, which can be set at $1 million or more, can help financially protect you in these circumstances.
Add-on policies to a hobby farm insurance policy can include additional automobile coverage if you use your regular car or truck for your farm work, loss of income insurance, and more.
For more information, hear from others who have worked with Duliban to find the right insurance policy for their hobby farm. Whether you are thinking about starting a farm or already have one going, read these testimonials to learn more about hobby farms and finding the best insurance policy to protect your investment.
“Duliban was amazing when we needed to file a claim on a Friday evening. The customer service went above and beyond what my husband and I expected. During a very stressful time they made filing our claim and helping us out an extremely smooth process.” – Jennifer E