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Author Topic: Mill business insurance  (Read 561 times)

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Offline Woodslabs

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Mill business insurance
« on: October 04, 2017, 11:17:55 am »
Hi all,

I run a small mill and a woodshop.  I started to invest in machinery and would like to finally get business insurance.  I need my shop and contents, wood kiln and contents and sawmill insured.  Would i just call normal insurance companies like the co-operators or are there specific companies to call for insuring a sawmill business.  I am located in Ontario Canada.

Thanks for any input.

Offline E-Tex

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Re: Mill business insurance
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 11:41:18 am »
Start with your agent and see what they can provide....then go from there. 
Not sure about Canada, but carriers will likely have concerns about Commercial business on a residential property (if that's the case) and vise-versa....and differentiating the two risk.

A Business Owner Policy will provide your Liability as well as protection for your property and tools.  And/or an "Inland Marine" policy for your equipment and tools.

Again, just find a good agent and they should be able to get you protected!

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Mill business insurance
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 01:38:09 pm »
   I'd start with my regular insurance agent and tell them what you want. If they don't have it they should be able to refer you to someone else.

   I decided I only needed liability insurance and am satisfied with the coverage and rate. I checked on Inland Marine for my equipment coverage but decided the rates were too high for the coverage and I could afford to repair or replace anything I had. I was not sure could not afford the kind of risk an injury to someone else could create.

   Just do a careful review of your risks and liabilities and determine what kind of coverage you need to overcome it in a worse case scenario. Good luck.
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Offline Percy

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Re: Mill business insurance
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2017, 07:34:29 pm »
http://www.ucai.ca/wood.html

I am in Canada also. I use these guys. Been very helpful in 2014 when we had a serious loss. Been using them since 1997. Worth  a look if nothing else.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Mill business insurance
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 08:26:43 pm »
The availability of insurance and it's cost  change constantly [in the U.S.]  There can be an agent that can provide a policy that 20 others can't.  Never give up shopping for insurance.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Mill business insurance
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 10:36:12 pm »
A major factor (disqualifying) is if you are letting (inviting) customers onto your personal property to do business as E-Tex says.  Since we go from log to retail storefront and have lots of customer traffic we were dropped or refused by every big insurance company you see on TV until we deeded acres to the business, including the driveway. 

If you don't have customer foot traffic, you will save a lot of headaches. 

Get an umbrella policy....along with everything else....
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Mill business insurance (additional concerns)
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2017, 01:47:47 am »
Our mill will be on our farm, soon, and that's where we'll do any sawmill business.

FYI off topic as it may be:
I don't know about CN zoning (and it's likely handled locally as in the US), but you may get sideways with your local government if you run any sort of commercial operation in a residential zone.  Even in some rural settings the noise for example may get attention and complaints from neighbors.  These things do make some racket.  And any sort of customer traffic can also be a factor.  We're lucky in having 247 acres where the mill will be, so noise will likely have little impact.

I just recalled that our (current home) county passed an ordinance change within the last year increasing regulations but for the most part the new language relates to fixed, not portable, mills.  Cannot recall if it was fine tuned to A1 or A2 zoning which would cover farms.  The county where our farm is tends to leave farmers alone.

My on-topic "insurance concern" is what I have heard, on here occasionally and elsewhere, regarding some insurance companies canceling/refusing renewal of policies upon hearing of the insureds acquiring mills.  I am wondering if this relates to the business vs home location of some mills, i.e., related to Homeowners policies as opposed to business owner coverages.  Or is like owning a private plane while trying to get life insurance or a vicious dog when asking for homeowners...they just don't like "the risk".

Given the possible catastrophic scale of a mill accident with people around, I would indeed consider the umbrella.

I would also add that PRICES on business insurance and other varies A LOT.  We changed companies for the restaurant a couple of years ago and cut our cost almost in half and with better coverage, too.

Also weird: one of our hunters has an independent agency representing the company we eventually went with, but he could not get the company to consider us due to their aversion to covering our historic registered building.  However another agency representing the same company received the opposite answer, offered a very good price, and we signed on fast.

I am in VA/USA.  We have 2 business policies (one for our restaurant, one for our farm, though we currently are not cutting our own hay, have a farmer doing same), and a homeowners, at present.

Wondering about the impact of the mill.
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Offline E-Tex

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Re: Mill business insurance
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2017, 10:21:18 am »
My on-topic "insurance concern" is what I have heard, on here occasionally and elsewhere, regarding some insurance companies canceling/refusing renewal of policies upon hearing of the insureds acquiring mills.  I am wondering if this relates to the business vs home location of some mills, i.e., related to Homeowners policies as opposed to business owner coverages.  Or is like owning a private plane while trying to get life insurance or a vicious dog when asking for homeowners...they just don't like "the risk".


Likely the "Exposure Difference" between Residential vs. Business Risk.  Many of the Major Carriers (ie...Farmers, Allstate, State Farm) will offer a "Gentleman's Farm and Ranch" Endorsement which is likely fine for a hobbyist sawing for him/herself and using the lumber for their own use.  Or the rancher cutting his own hay for feeding his own livestock.  Most of these endorsements will allow "some" selling but that income is considered incidental in nature. 

I've had several clients that own property and had a business located on it, as well as their house.  They had to do like Yellowhammer did.....Deed out a portion to separate the two different exposures.  Again, your home insurance carrier is designed to cover your residence and normal residential activities...not business exposures (customers on the property, etc...).  A Business policy does not want exposures other than business.  Therefore separating the two different risk is necessary.

There are companies that offer a true "Farm and Ranch" policy designed to cover the residence AND some business exposures.  Again, it will all come down to your exact situation...ask your agent.  If a Farm and Ranch is not an option then TWO different policies will be necessary.

Be up front with your agent and do not hide anything.  The worst thing to do is try to hide any business exposure and then be denied on a claim...BAD.  A good agent can make your worst day...Much BETTER!