Nancy Niche  |  Green Gage Farm  |  Novato, CA

Subject: Farm B&B Insurance Conundrum

I run a 2-acre permaculture farm in North Marin County that is also a B&B that I rent through Airbnb. I have been through 13 brokers trying to get insured. They eventually say in some form or another that there just isn’t a policy that will do what I need; cover replacement costs AND liability.

Before it was a B&B the other 4 units were month-to-month rentals and I had both homeowners & rental insurance through State Farm, but when I went over to the ‘transient occupancy,’ State Farm said they wouldn’t insure the 3 rental structures, only my residence. When my policies expired and were cancelled, my mortgage company put lender-based policies on the 3 rental structures at an exorbitant cost, and (I just found out while doing my taxes), the coverage is only to pay the lender in the case of loss; I will get nothing to replace or rebuild. And, of course, there is no liability coverage for my business, which is thriving.

I have come to understand that, until some vendor comes up with a prototype for the new crop of vacation rentals that Airbnb has sown and grown, most insurers are just waiting to see what the competition rates will bear out to be. So, for now, the only answer seems to be to find a vendor that will cover replacement costs, then add liability coverage with an additional policy.

If anyone has any suggestions as to a company or broker, or if you also have a farm B&B and can give some advice or referrals, I would be ever so grateful (will indicate with gifts of handmade soaps!)

Niche @ Green Gage Farm • 4154 895-1435

In Topics Insurance, Women in Agriculture

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 4
10/04/17, updated
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  |  Lucky Monkeys Ranch  |  Willits, CA commented

You might try Grange Insurance Company (washington state) They cover our farm, home, tractor, solar, and may cover short term stay-overs. Or you may need a commercial policy for that.

11/11/17 11:44 PM
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  |  Green Gage Farm  |  Novato, CA commented

Robin, do you have a loan on the property? My problem is that the lender will call the loan if it isn't insured (big loan), but the lender based insurance sucks. It's hard to believe there is such a thing as uninsurable.


10/05/17 12:53 PM
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  |  3 chicks and a hoe  |  Sebastopol, CA commented

I share a property in Sebastopol on which my partners also run a Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO). I have my own insurance since I am not part of the vrbo, but they were able to get insurance for their portion. If you are interested, we went through Jan Lowen, who is an insurance agent in Santa Rosa. She is wonderful and was able to maneuver things so we all got insurance.

Good luck!

10/05/17 10:16 AM
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  |  FlipJack Ranch  |  Santa Cruz, CA commented

We tried 27 insurance companies and we are uninsurable. We have a 3 room BnB and a farm.

10/05/17 9:05 AM

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