Is There Insurance for Fire Damaged Vineyards?
With the recent devastation from wildfires there have been many questions about insurance coverage on vineyards. No one could have anticipated the speed and ferocity of the fires that occurred on October 8th. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this disaster. Emergency response teams and catastrophic deployment by national insurance companies are taking place now as recovery efforts are made. There have been homes lost, businesses, outbuildings and tragically lives lost. Each occurrence is reviewed with each carrier and even though a vineyard may not be as important as a life, this post is to address is there insurance for fire damage vineyards.
Most people have asked if there is crop insurance regarding the loss to their vineyard. Yes there is coverage if you had a Multi Peril Crop Insurance policy in place, but it would only cover the loss of the production for this year. Crop insurance is only insurance the production of grapes and not the vines themselves. So depending on your insured guarantee of production per acre and price per acre, you would have a loss for the 2017 crop only. Whole Farm Revenue Protection would also offer coverage for the loss of revenue due to the covered cause of loss, fire. This again would only offer coverage for the loss of revenue for 2017.
The vines themselves should have been insured through your agribusiness or farm insurance policy. There is specific coverage for vines, and the value should have been scheduled. If this is the case the insurance policy would cover the value scheduled on your policy for the acres that were lost from fire damage. Similar to any other property, the policy would cover your fire somewhat as if it were a building. We also know that unfortunately you may have lost your fruit for this year, you now have to replant the vineyard and you aren’t going to have marketable production probably for another four years. This brings up a coverage we are not sure will be covered or not, but you should check with your insurance company, whether business interruption would apply. Since you are out your revenue because of the fire, will your policy pay for business interruption if you had that coverage on your protection plan. It is worth exploring, because if you had a restaurant that burned down you should have an insurance policy that had that coverage and would pay for the lost income until your restaurant was rebuilt and you were able to operate again. The same for a vineyard and the loss that has taken place for years to come.
The natural disaster of these fires is almost unreal, and we will continue to see the rebuilding effort for years to come. The loss of lives and livelihoods doesn’t compare to any property. However, it has brought to light the need to have a protection plan that you understand. The need to have coverage for your vineyards, business interruption, crop, inventory, equipment, buildings, dwellings and life. Again our hearts go out to the many that have lost everything, we are so sorry.
For more information on protection plans or questions please contact:
Monte Johnson Insurance Services Inc.