Insurance guide for greenhouses

Added October 14, 2022

The commercial greenhouse market is growing rapidly. Lending to this growth is a rise in demand for flowers and greenhouse-grown ornamentals—and a significant increase in demand for year-round produce.

According to Business Wire, there were more than 8,750 greenhouse vegetable farms spread throughout the U.S. in 2021. The states with the highest number of vegetable farms include:

  • Pennsylvania: 593

  • New York: 435

  • California: 427

  • Maine: 386

  • Michigan: 341

As the number of greenhouse growing operations rises throughout the country, finding an insurance provider who knows the horticultural industry and its unique risks—no matter where you set up shop—can help ensure your coverages make sense for your business. Whether you’re growing plants, flowers, fruits, or vegetables within a traditional greenhouse or a renovated warehouse, insurance for greenhouse growers plays a major role in helping support the financial well-being of your business.

Greenhouses face unique risks

You provide a variety of plants and services that your customers love. Don’t let an unforeseen hazard affect that. Every greenhouse operation faces risk exposures that businesses in other industries often don’t need to worry about, and which may not fall under a standardized business insurance policy.

The characteristics of your operation alone can influence your exposures, such as: 

  • Using glass, polycarbonate, plastic, or fiberglass coverings.

  • Producing potted plants, vegetables, fruits, or specialty cuts.

  • Selling plugs or finished products.

Protect your passion and your business by staying vigilant and proactively managing your risks.

Crop losses

Whether it’s flowers or other plants, your crop could be put in jeopardy if a climate control system fails. Crop insurance protects plants grown in climate-controlled structures. You can even protect your future crop income if you can’t plant due to damage.

Storm damage

Every greenhouse faces the threat of hail, lightning, high winds, and tornadoes. Depending on where your business is located, there’s also the danger of hurricanes and heavy snow. Significant storm damage repairs can be expensive and delay how quickly you can get your business up and running again. Property insurance can help protect you when storm damage affects your operations and can help you minimize losses.

Electrical fires

Devastating fires to greenhouse property are sometimes caused by poor or deteriorating electrical connections and wiring. A fire within your greenhouse could disrupt operations and result in prolonged downtime. Some insurance providers can use thermal imaging to help identify possible electrical problems. Business interruption insurance can help cover additional expenses to keep your operations running and help supplement lost income if your business is disrupted.

Equipment breakdowns

When your equipment breaks down, it can mean weeks of lost productivity and lost revenue. Equipment breakdown coverage can help reduce your costs and get your operations back on track.

Slips, trips, and falls

Hoses, wet floors, and ladders are commonly found around greenhouse walkways and can lead to costly injuries and workers’ compensation claims. Your insurance provider can work with you to minimize the risks around your workplace to help keep employees and customers safe.

Reach out to your insurer for help in identifying possible problem areas or in creating a safety plan for your business. You can find additional safety resources by visiting If you have any questions, give us a call at 800-851-7740. Ask for Loss Control & Safety Services.

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Insurance coverages for greenhouse businesses

Greenhouse managers need to find the insurance coverages that work best for their operation. In general, owners of larger accounts select higher deductibles, and in terms of liability, purchase higher umbrella limits. Weather is also a determining factor: growers in cold and snowy climates have different considerations than growers in warm climates. If a boiler breaks at a greenhouse in Minnesota, it’s usually a bigger concern than if a boiler breaks at a greenhouse in south Florida.

As a business owner, you don’t want to risk being underinsured if you face a claim. Keep in mind, not all states require the same insurance coverages, but consider the following coverages and discuss these with your provider:

Commercial property

You can customize your commercial property insurance based on specific risk exposures you face—whether it’s from fire, storm damage, theft, or breakdowns. If a storm knocks out a ceiling panel and causes water damage and inventory loss, your property insurance can help cover the damage to your structure. It can even help protect your future income if you can’t plant your next crop due to damage.

General liability

general liability insurance policy covers losses to non-employees caused by your services, business operations, or employees. It also covers losses due to negligence that harmed someone else or their property. For example, if a customer’s son rushes through your greenhouse, falls in a puddle, and injures himself, the customer could decide to file a lawsuit against your greenhouse. If required, general liability insurance would help cover your legal bills and any compensation.

Commercial auto

Deliveries and transporting equipment are typical day-to-day activities for horticultural businesses. Commercial auto insurance can help cover accidents that happen when your employee is using a vehicle for your business. It can also help cover your business if you or an employee use a personal vehicle on behalf of the business.

Workers’ compensation

Depending on the number of employees you have, workers’ compensation insurance may be required in your state. This insurance can help protect you against liability from a work-related accident, including injuries, illnesses, disabilities, and death. It also helps your employees with medical expenses, wage replacement, and other covered benefits after illness or injury. 

Umbrella liability

While most claims are covered by your general liability insurance policy, certain incidents or lawsuits may be so severe they deplete the limits of your main coverage. Umbrella liability coverage provides an extra layer of coverage that can help protect your business in the event of a catastrophic liability loss or a large judgment against you or your company. 

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Who should insure your business?

With new and alternative commercial greenhouse operations on the rise, it’s important to choose an insurer that understands the nuances and unique challenges of the horticultural industry. Hortica®, a brand of the Sentry Insurance Group, has been serving the horticultural industry for more than 135 years. The Hortica team has a deep understanding of the horticultural environment, its risks, and how to help protect your business.

If you have any questions about insuring your business or would like to review your current policy, contact us today or request a quote.

Related links:

Learn how taking a proactive safety approach can help improve your business operations and your bottom line.

Understand the steps and what to expect during a safety visit from your insurance provider.

Your business insurance policy should evolve as your operations and risks change. Use our insurance renewal checklist to analyze where your business has changed.

The information in this article is for informational or entertainment purposes only. View our disclaimer by going to terms and conditions and clicking on Learning Center disclaimer in the table of contents.