Choose a niche insurance provider who understands your unique risks

Added January 27, 2023

As a horticultural business owner, you most likely serve a niche audience. Own a garden center? You probably cater to gardeners and landscapers. A flower shop? It's all about event planners and special occasions. And nurseries fulfill seasonal and in-demand specialty stock orders. You know your customers and what they need from you to succeed in their businesses or support their passions.

The same theory applies to insurance. A niche insurance provider knows its customers and how to help protect them.

Niche insurance providers know your industry

Unlike generalist insurance providers who market to the masses, niche providers focus on specific markets—which means they understand the unique operations and exposures within that market. Many niche providers immerse themselves in the industry, gaining additional certifications and a network of industry affiliations. In short, your industry is their specialty.

Hortica®, a brand of the Sentry Insurance Group, is a niche insurance provider. Founded in 1887, we’re widely recognized within the horticultural and floral industries and recently celebrated 135 years in business. Through our decades of service, our teams have gained a deep understanding of the industry and can knowledgeably provide businesses like yours—from small floral shops to large greenhouse operations—with customized risk management and insurance solutions. 

By no means does serving a targeted market segment translate into being a smaller insurance company. Rather, being a trusted resource throughout the industry is an invaluable advantage, as in our case:

  • We insure 46 of the top 100 growers in the U.S.

  • We protect $10.4 billion of insured property nationwide

  • We hold more than 60 memberships with national and state horticultural and floral associations, and our president, Tim Noble, serves on the American Floral Endowment (AFE) board.

  • We're part of one of the most financially secure mutual insurance groups in the United States. Sentry carries an A+ (superior) rating from AM Best*

Niche insurance claims adjustors know your industry, too

Having a trusted advisor who specializes in your industry can help minimize your out-of-pocket expenses and recovery time following a claim.

Whether it's property damage to your greenhouse from a storm, a workers' compensation claim for a slip or fall, or a liability issue from a product injury off site, our claims professionals are ready to help assess the incident and get your claim resolved efficiently and fairly. And because they've visited and inspected operations like yours across the country, they know what it takes to help rebuild if your business experiences a disaster.

Some common claim examples include:

  • Slip and fall on site: A customer visiting a garden center slips on the wet floor where plants were recently watered. Ignoring the yellow caution cone, the customer reaches for a plant, slips, and falls.

  • Weather damage to property: An unpredicted hail event breaks several panels on a greenhouse covering, resulting in damaged inventory and a production shutdown due to not being able to replace the damaged panels during a supply chain shortage.

  • Product injury off site: A floral shop delivers a vase of flowers to a customer. As the recipient pulls the vase out of the box, the vase suddenly breaks and the customer's hand is cut by a shard of glass.

  • Customer property damage off site: A floral shop maintains decorative plants in a nearby office complex. Shop employees water the plants weekly, including a large planter. Over time, the container leaks, causing damage to the carpet underneath, which is unrepairable.

  • Fire damage to property: A fire engulfs a storage building and spreads to the adjoining greenhouse. Insured loses contents of the storage building, some crop ready for delivery, and also sustains a business interruption for loss of income and extra expense related to the fire.

Niche insurers make your risks their priority

Risk exposures are different for every industry, even every business. Experiencing an uninsured loss could potentially limit production or shut down your operations. Niche insurers have the ability to lean into customized loss control programs that address risks unique to your operations, such as insects, pests, and plant disease.

To that point, our team of safety specialists brings a wealth of industry-specific experience, loss control resources, and safety knowledge with customized programs including:

  • On-site consultation services

  • Targeted safety presentations

  • Training materials

  • Thermographic inspections

  • Informative and interactive webinars

  • Annual claims analysis

Niche insurers can customize your insurance solutions

Niche insurance providers are focused on their target market and can underwrite programs that address specific exposures and liabilities. Insurers who cover a range of industries may not have the dedicated time or expertise to go beyond providing the required standard coverages.

The following are examples of coverage customizations available with niche providers like Hortica:

Commercial property insurance

With Hortica, you can customize your commercial property insurance based on specific risk exposures you face—whether it’s from fire, storm damage, theft, or equipment 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. 

Depending on your policy, your coverages could apply to the equipment contained within your structures—including boilers, generators, coolers, benching systems, irrigation equipment, heat retention curtain systems, and environmental control computers. It can even help protect your future income if you can't plant your next crop due to damage.

General liability insurance

general liability insurance policy covers losses to non-employees caused by your services, business operations, or employees. For example, if you mistakenly label an apple tree as a pear tree and your customer spends money and time to grow it—later realizing it’s not the tree they thought they purchased—you can be held liable for the financial expenses and the time spent growing the wrong tree. Recognizing what can affect your bottom line can help us work with you more efficiently to protect it.

Commercial auto insurance

Commercial auto insurance can help cover you if you or your employees are involved in an auto accident while driving for business purposes. Delivering flowers, hauling sod, transporting equipment—there are many reasons why you need to send your employees out on the road. All of them require the proper protection and we’ll work with you to help you identify the coverages that make sense for your business.

Workers' compensation insurance

There's always at least some level of risk when workers use implements and tools, work with soil and water, or lift heavy or bulky plants or supplies. Workers’ compensation insurance can help protect you against liability from work-related accidents, including injuries, illnesses, disability diagnoses, and even death of an employee. It also helps your employees with medical expenses, wage replacement, and other covered benefits after illness or injury.

Consider a niche insurance carrier

When you're comparing insurance companies for your business, consider the bottom-line benefits of a niche insurance provider. Choose an insurer who knows your industry and understands your business niche. Are they experts within your industry? Will they be able to understand your risk exposures? How effective are they at managing claims in your field of work?

For the sake of your employees, customers, and bottom line, choose an insurer that can deliver customized coverages and safety services to help you protect your ever-changing horticultural business.

Learn more about why Hortica may be the niche insurance brand that makes the most sense for your horticultural business. You can also request a quoteemail us, or give us a call at 800-541-5082 if you’d like to speak with one of our representatives.


Related links:

Are you a trendsetter? Review the top 2023 trends in the horticultural industry and how they could impact your business.

Winter maintenance on your greenhouse is imperative. Use this comprehensive greenhouse maintenance checklist to help you reduce potential breakdowns as you gear up for the spring season.

Cybercrime is serious business. Find out how cyber criminals are exploiting growers—and how to prevent it happening to your business.

Two people in greenhouse

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.