What to Consider When Venturing into Agricultural Tourism

Many farms are diversifying their income by adding forms of agritourism, also known as agritainment. This can bring visitors to your farm in various ways, whether it’s educational to learn where food comes from or just for fun to run through a corn maze and pet animals. When you’re checking off your to-do list while preparing your property, don’t forget about your insurance to make sure you’re covered for your new ventures.  

What is Agritourism? 

Agritourism is an agricultural or aquacultural activity that is primarily operated on the insured’s location for the purpose of tourism or entertainment for monetary compensation.  

Examples of Agritourism 

  • Corn maze 
  • Hayrides  
  • Pick your own fruit or vegetable  
  • Pick your own pumpkin patch
  • Farm tours   
  • Petting farm 
  • Event venue rental 

Is farm insurance enough to cover visitors to my farm?  

Agritourism is not included in our farm base policy. If visitors pay you for business activities, the base farm policy insurance isn’t enough. You need special coverage to make sure you’re covered properly. That’s where our agritainment endorsement comes in to provide that extra layer of protection. 

Depending on the type of activities on the farm, you may want to consider adding a commercial policy in conjunction to make sure all your exposures are covered. Talk with your insurance agent to see what the best coverage is for your specific farm.  

WI Act 269 – Wisconsin Limited Liability Law Signage 

Wisconsin Act 269 provides immunity from liability for agricultural tourism. Farmers are required by law to post the limited law language at every entrance/exit of the farm.  

When is this necessary?  

Why is event insurance necessary if I already have insurance for my property?  

Always plan for the unexpected. During an event, there could be a situation on your property or with an animal that doesn’t have anything to do with the event. It’s important to make sure you’re covered in case something happens out of your control.  

If it’s a regular occurrence that you’re booking events multiple times a month or weekly throughout the year, it’s recommended you should provide the coverage yourself by a commercial policy or an agritainment endorsement on your farm policy. If events are not frequent, perhaps a few times a year someone approaches you, an event day policy can come in handy.  

You can buy event coverage policies specific for an event, such as a wedding, including liquor liability coverage. If you’re running a business, look at a commercial policy so your guests don’t have to get their own coverage. However, if they do provide their own, ask for a copy of their event policy so you can review the coverages and make sure the policy is adequate protection rather than taking their word. 

Talk with your agent to evaluate each unique exposure individually, ways to mitigate exposures and make sure the proper policy is in place if something happens. Guests on your property don’t know the property like you do. Make sure you cover all your bases to keep visitors safe and no exposures left unknown.  

What Makes Rural Mutual Different?

Many operations begin as a farm and start adding on agritainment revenue streams and don’t realize they’re crossing the line transitioning from agricultural to commercial. Make sure you stay in contact with your agent as your business evolves to have them out to your farm for a tour, take pictures or show them around what you plan to do. 

When working with perspective new clients, our Underwriters, Loss Control, Agents and insureds will walk the farm property together and talk about the operation if it fits the standard farm policy or has a need for an agritainment endorsement. Having staff and agents across the state, local to your area, makes us unique and offers you security protection. We don’t want you to have surprises, and neither do you. Reach out to a Rural Mutual agent to make sure your farm is properly protected.