When you build a greenhouse, you’re transforming the growing space within it into prime real estate for your operation or hobby. If you’re buying a greenhouse, on the other hand, you’re investing in that real estate as a valuable asset.
And you’d want to have insurance to cover your assets— wouldn’t you?
Whether you’re open to the public, strictly growing for direct sale, or nursing a private hobby, there are more than a handful of reasons to insure your greenhouse. Though these structures are powerful tools for growing enterprises, risks and accidents do happen, and greenhouses can be especially vulnerable.
Most importantly, greenhouses are high cost investments. Even a partial loss can be staggering, putting your plants, profits, or even your whole operation weeks and weeks behind!
Don’t let this happen. Here are a few critical reasons to insure your greenhouse with its own special coverage, whether it’s a new or existing structure.
Wind, storms, or other climate-related damage
Damage from the elements is sure to top this list. Why? Because climate-related damage can happen to any greenhouse, and it is impossible to completely prevent or control.
High winds are the absolute highest risk to greenhouses. They can carry damaging debris to glass panel greenhouses or blow out plastic covered structures such as hoop houses or high tunnels. But the list doesn’t end there.
Hail damage and snow load are also possibilities. These can puncture coverings or cause them to topple, respectively. Extreme cold conditions may also rupture and shatter aged plastic covered greenhouses. Regardless of the environmental threat, you’ll want to be covered, just in case.
Just like with buildings, the infrastructural materials in a greenhouse can sometimes be defective. If you bought your greenhouse, you’d have no way of knowing, especially if defects aren’t obvious— and by the time you find out, it’s too late!
Defects can accelerate the aging, depreciation, or even the vulnerability of your greenhouse to the elements, accidents, or anything else that could compromise or destroy your greenhouse structure. For example: weakened or low-quality steel during construction is not a liability you’d want to have. Neither is finding out low-quality lumber was used during construction, and that it’s all susceptible to rot or needs immediate replacement— with all the costs falling on your shoulders.
You can also add the quality of plastic coverings, glass panels, and more to this list. If you weren’t in control of every piece of material that went into building, insurance coverage is certainly something to consider— and even if you were in charge of your construction, defects and mistakes can still happen.
If you’re running a greenhouse business as only part of a larger outdoor operation, you probably have crop insurance in place already. However, there are additional greenhouse-specific problems that may lead to crop loss, and you should certainly think twice about coverage for them.
As many professional greenhouse growers know all too well, your risk of certain plant diseases skyrocket as soon as you grow these plants inside a greenhouse. After all, the artificial conditions greenhouses create are highly attractive to their diseases and pests, too. These also help them reproduce, spread, and proliferate much faster than in the outdoors, and can lead to much more devastating losses with higher value crops.
Because the plants and space within a greenhouse are so much more valuable (and profitable) than any other space you could grow, it would make sense to give them more valuable coverage. Organic growers may especially want to consider this is an important reason to insure their greenhouses.
Some greenhouses are simple, while others are quite sophisticated and high tech. Equipment is needed to make these structures run smoothly (or at all). And just like with greenhouse materials, greenhouse equipment can have defects— or worse, it can malfunction.
A stuck vent, power outage, mistimed watering or covering, or glitch in humidity settings can wreak absolute havoc. These may sound like small mishaps to the average person, but a greenhouse grower knows how destructive and expensive even a small electronic error like this can be.
Not to mention: electrical problems in a greenhouse could possibly lead to fires! Events like these could spell not only total loss of your crop, but potentially a total loss of your greenhouse, too. Be sure to protect yourself.
This applies to the injury of anybody who steps in your greenhouse: yourself, your employees, or customers if you have a commercial greenhouse that is open to the public.
If someone gets hurt while on the job, or while purchasing something inside your greenhouse, are they covered? Will they be compensated? Will you be able to compensate them? These are important questions to ask.
While a broader business liability policy could cover such events, ask yourself if these would extend to events within your greenhouse structure specifically. Most importantly, ask if you have any coverage for yourself for a strictly greenhouse-related injury!
For any of these issues, you’d have to ask your insurance company about them or finagle the specifics into your current policy. However, a greenhouse insurance policy would blanket all these concerns.
Think about the value you’ve already put into your greenhouse. Is it worth more valuable coverage? You’ll find that most growers, after going through these experiences firsthand, will be quick to say yes.