A look behind the curtain

When we started taking this tour idea, scratching it out of the dirt, and forming it into an entity and an actual “thing”, I promised I would do it in public. Of course things got busy and I fell short on that promise. So now it is time to catch everyone up a little bit. We knew our idea of an agri-tour that took people from farm to farm, to food processing, to the final product was a bit ground-breaking. Little did we know how leading edge we were.

First a couple questions. Did you know, insurance underwriters may prefer to insure businesses who transport dynamite on rough roads over a start-up agri-tourism business? I worked in the personal and commercial property insurance industry for a good 20 years of my career. I suspected this would not be an easy risk to cover, but the time it took, and the questions we had to answer, to find companies willing to even cover us surprised this grizzled veteran.

My second question; Have you tried to do a basic internet search to find a true farm-to-fork experience in which you travel from farm to farm and then eventually end the experience with a meal? There are several farms across the United States who offer an “on-the-farm” experience. Typically it is on one location and not very often true operating farms with cattle, and very rarely with a meal at the end. In our quest to find our market we actually bumped into one other business actually doing anything like what we are attempting. Feel free to check out the Oregon Farm Loop, they are even somewhat self-guided: https://oregonfarmloop.co

When insurance underwriters do not have a past to look back upon they get nervous, and anyone who has worked in the insurance industry knows that is a bad thing. They don’t have a history to determine what is the risk we are really insuring here? How much should I be charging to make sure we cover the actual risk of a claim occurring and how much will that claim be? For instance, if you have ever added a new driver to your auto insurance, all you need to know is this is how they determine an underage driver’s insurance premium; “It isn’t a question if the 17 year-old is going to have an accident, it is when is it going to occur, and how bad is it going to be.”

Fortunately, Teri and I had great resources and people willing to work with us. My hat’s off to two local insurance agencies and agents, Dillon at Richards Insurance and Jeremy at Wallace, Cooper, and Elliot Insurance were both fantastic to work with. They never once laughed at me, at least in person, when I suggested this idea and the possibility of getting insurance. I know they both at least once thought to themselves, “I had always thought Marty was a bit off-center, but man he is dreaming in color now.” Very much to their credit, they are both very knowledgeable and worked very diligently to find us coverage that covered our risk quite affordably. Even though we learned this is truly a ground-breaking venture, the cost actually came in a little lower than I had anticipated.

So, the moral of this blog post: Call your insurance agent to find out the least expensive business risk ahead of determining what you think your next business venture will be.

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