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I know there are a few places that offer insurance specifically for bee keepers/selling honey. I think cost is around $400 per year. Is this the best way to go? Or do some of the small time folks form an LLC for liability protection? Or, just purchase a generic umbrella liability policy that covers anything the owner might need. I think a general umbrella policy is about $500 a year for $3,000,000 and covers about anything.
 

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What bee-specific harms are you insuring against that regular insurance wouldn't cover?
 

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This is a perpetual question that begs the questions how much money do you expect to bring in from your bee related sales and what sort of liabilities do you want protection from? Honey is a food product - some stores will require you to have liability insurance in order to sell through them. I think what they are mostly concerned with is contamination in packaging - i.e. bits of glass mixed in with your honey.

If you plan to be selling nucs and are looking for coverage that will protect you from someone picking up a nuc, getting stung, and having a severe reaction to the sting that is completely different!
 

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Seems like a good question to ask of three or four insurance agents. Try to find one w/ agricultural experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Trying to protect against the sue happy state America seems to have fallen into. I sell maybe 500 - 1000 lbs of honey per year - someone may have a reaction, contaminated honey, etc. Probably will sell a few nucs/hives. Someone may come to my house and get stung by one of my bees and have a reaction. I have talked with my financial guy - who also happens to sell insurance. He seems to think the general liability umbrella policy would be best. It would cover anything from my dog biting someone to one of my buddies falling from one of my tree stands while hunting - and of course, a bee sting from one of my bees. Just wanted to see what others were doing.
 

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I understand. Sounds like your friend has given you some good advice. Most cases a Homeowners General Liability would cover you. I have a cpl million dollars product liability on my Farm Package through Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company.

Keep in mind that your exposure is relatively low considering you may only sell 1,000 lbs of honey a year. How much can you afford before the cost of the insurance makes having it cost prohibitive?
 

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I just researched this. Farm Family sqkcrk mentioned had the best deal when combined with my home owners insurance. It is liability- pretty much the same package that the Texas company in the bee magazines offers, but about half the cost. However, it seems they are not specifically covering stinging incidents on your property, however they are not calling it out as not covered- my read on it is that it would be a matter of proving it was your bee, etc.
 

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I understand. Sounds like your friend has given you some good advice. Most cases a Homeowners General Liability would cover you.
For Many years I was an insurance agent with Farm Bureau Insurance Company in Ga. I have been out of it for awhile so maybe things have changed. But there is no such thing as Homeowners GL policy. You have a homeowners liability Coverage Form/Policy, and A GL (General Liability or CGL Commercial General Liability) Coverage Form/Policy. Two different animals. For a safe rule of thumb (different companys cover different things) I would not expect to have any type of insurance protection with a standard homeowners policy. Depending on the carrier an umbrella might pick up the exposure. Farm Bureau does have a Farm owners package policy that combines some of the aspects of a homeowners policy and the commercial or ag exposures of a GL policy, and you could separately add a beekeepers endorsement.
Always consult your insurance agent for any specific questions.

Hope this helps

DD
 

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Trying to protect against the sue happy state America seems to have fallen into. I sell maybe 500 - 1000 lbs of honey per year - someone may have a reaction, contaminated honey, etc. Probably will sell a few nucs/hives. Someone may come to my house and get stung by one of my bees and have a reaction. I have talked with my financial guy - who also happens to sell insurance. He seems to think the general liability umbrella policy would be best. It would cover anything from my dog biting someone to one of my buddies falling from one of my tree stands while hunting - and of course, a bee sting from one of my bees. Just wanted to see what others were doing.
Homeowners insurance will protect you from somebody getting stung in your yard. It will not cover anything to do with selling a containated product. you ned a seperate business policy for that.
 

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I know it's different for you folks down south, but in our area this is pretty much a no-brainer, easy and cheap. The provincial association of honey producers offers coverage, the details are available to read here:-

http://www.bcbeekeepers.com/insurance

For 50 bucks, it was a no-brainer for us. For another hundred, we can have a million coverage for forest fire liability, relavent to those who take bees up into the high country for the later fireweed.
 

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I know it's different for you folks down south, but in our area this is pretty much a no-brainer, easy and cheap. The provincial association of honey producers offers coverage, the details are available to read here:-

http://www.bcbeekeepers.com/insurance

For 50 bucks, it was a no-brainer for us. For another hundred, we can have a million coverage for forest fire liability, relavent to those who take bees up into the high country for the later fireweed.
Thats the way to Go, separate specific coverage.

"Homeowners insurance will protect you from somebody getting stung in your yard. "

I never had to deal with this issue when i was an insurance agent, but If you don't have a bee business operation or beehives located on the covered premises then no problem, I'm sure your insurance company would defend you if there was a lawsuit.
But that might not be true if you have a dedicated bee business/operation, or even just beehives on the covered premises. If my memory serves me correctly, most homeowners liability policies are very specific and diligent to exclude liability arising from 'any' business operation on or off premises (unless otherwise endorsed).
Be safe, check it out.
 

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Homeowners insurance will protect you from somebody getting stung in your yard. It will not cover anything to do with selling a containated product. you ned a seperate business policy for that.
Seems to me that the best insurance against the possibility of being sued for selling an adulterated product or a contaminated product is to not adulterate or contaminate your product.
 

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I struggled with this question as I have a homeowners policy as well as an umbrella policy. I was more concerned about a suit from someone who purchased my honey and claimed to be ill. I decided to purchase another policy for my honey business, as I do not believe the other policies would cover a lawsuit from the sale of my honey. I also formed an LLC (limited liability company) that would be the legal owner. In this manner it was the LLC and not me personally that could be sued, however, in the event of a lawsuit they would file against all parties.After contacting several insurance agents I found most could not give me satisfactory advice and finally State farm researched the matter and sold me a policy that I am satisfied with. Without proper insurance a simple thing like selling a jar of honey can result in a lawsuit that could be disastrous financially.Sadly that is the way society functions today.
 

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our local club requires anyone doing removals to have insurance. i started doing removals this summer plus placed hives at three outyards, so i bought a general liability policy through am fam that gives $500k/$1M coverage for $325 a year. my first removal for the year more than covered that.
 

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Can anyone document where someone successfully sued for eating perfectly good honey?

Can anyone document where someone successfully sued for being stung by a bee?
 

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Check out a book called "Bees and the Law" if you can find it. I forget the authors name. He was a Lawyer and a Judge from Williamsburg,VA many years ago. Some of his articles have appeared in ABJ or Bee Culture. Again, a number of years in the past. I imagine someone could find them on line somewhere.

Since bees are wild, proving beyond reasonable doubt that someone was stung by someone's bee probably comes down to circumstantial evidence. Person A was stung when they were near Person B's Apiary or semi load of bees or etc. So it would depend on how a Judge would see it, if it ever got to Court. I imagine Insurance Companies keep such things from getting to the trial stage, most of the time.

Our State Association requires anyone wishing to sell honey at the State Fair in the Honey Booth to show proof of Liability Insurance. It's the prudent thing to do.
 

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On the issue of liability for bee stings, the following thread has a well reasoned response by a civil liability attorney and forum moderator at post #10:

http://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ekeeper-get-successfully-sued-for-a-bee-sting

In particular, the author says regarding bee sting liability " . . . these claims are rare to the point of being non-existent in the published case law."

In other words, as long as you are following the law and not being stupid, there is no real-world liabilty for a bee sting.

If you want to do stupid things with your bees, then, yes, get yourself some insurance.
 

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also for those of you that might sell at farmer's markets, the ones in my area require liability insurance.
 

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Seems to me that the best insurance against the possibility of being sued for selling an adulterated product or a contaminated product is to not adulterate or contaminate your product.
I view it differently. In our lawsuit happy society of today, the insurance isn't so much for the payout, it's so that somebody with deep pockets is there to pick up the tab for a very good legal team defending against a lawsuit that never should have happened in the first place. Even if you are totally in the right, and prevail in the courts, it costs a LOT of money to reach that point. Most of the time when you read about stupid large decisions, it's because the plaintiff had sharp (read expensive) legal types pressing for them, and the defendant couldn't afford, or wouldn't pay for, a proper defense.

There is nothing sane about the legal system, and it's long ago diverged away from 'right and wrong'. It's about who can cross the t's and dot the i's correctly on fine points of legal jargon. For that, you need somebody well versed in the system, and that costs serious money.
 

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"In our lawsuit happy society of today . . . "

If this is how one truly views society, then there is no end to the range of frivolous lawsuits one can incur, and no amount of insurance will protect against such.
 
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