Subscribe to our blog for all the latest news, updates, and events from Paynewest and our partnersSubscribe
Many wineries today are expanding their engagement with the public and wine club members beyond the tasting room — offering guests the opportunity to host events, volunteer in the vineyard and even stay the night in accommodations on their picturesque piece of wine country. Several winemakers and wineries are also taking their product on the road to off-site events and tastings. While these activities are a great way to market your product and add additional revenue streams, they also come with their own set of risks. Making sure you have the right insurance coverages in place will help protect your core business.
Wineries are increasingly sought for private events — from corporate entertaining to weddings and family reunions. As you add event offerings to your amenities, making sure you have proper contracts and risk transfer measures in place is vital to protecting your business:
Agri-tourism volunteer activities are especially attractive to wine enthusiasts who want to experience the wine making process, and they’re a great opportunity for you to build relationships with your customers. Because volunteers are not paid employees, your workers’ compensation insurance may not cover them if an injury occurs. Some workers’ compensation policies have a “voluntary” endorsement. By name, this endorsement is misleading. It actually does not cover volunteers, rather it pertains to domestic/farm workers or sole proprietors/partners. To make sure you are covered if a volunteer should have the misfortune of getting injured while working on your property, you should take the following proactive measures:
If you’re adding overnight accommodations to your winery, such as a B&B, cottage or VRBO rental, it’s important to add a line item to your general liability policy for the additional lodging revenue. Your insurance broker can also help you determine safety measures that should be implemented to make sure your property is safe for guests 24/7.
Jay Christensen is a winery insurance and risk management specialist, working with dozens of wine industry clients throughout the Pacific Northwest.
This content is for informational purposes only. Consult your actual insurance policy for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, and exclusions.