thought on liability insurance. If
you are having sticker shock, join the club. According to my agent, there are 2 processes in play.
Most of the money in the insurance business comes not
from premiums themselves, but from investment of premiums. Over the last few years, investment
markets have been relatively unproductive at best. Premiums have been increasing rapidly for everything. Comparing what you are paying now to
what you were paying 5 years ago is just about guaranteed to cause stress and
The September 11 disasters actually wiped out some
reinsurance companies. These are
companies that pool the risk covered by the companies we deal with directly. Everybody got hit and some didn’t
survive. As a result, remaining
companies are financially wounded and have less competition in the
marketplace. So….we all get to pay
Behalf Of Corrie Zoll
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Cc: Joyce Wisdom;
Subject: [cg] Liability Insurance
Minneapolis – Saint Paul region, an organization called The Sustainable
Resources Center (SRC) has provided direct services to community gardens for
the past 30 years, including lease holding and liability insurance.
SRC announced in December that they would be unable to provide leases,
liability insurance, or other services to community gardens in 2004. SRC
insured more than 50 community gardens, and presumably every one of these
gardens is at risk of shutting down without liability insurance coverage.
able to insure community gardens at the very low rate of $35 per year per
garden site. This covered $1,000,000 in commercial general liability
insurance. To put this number in context, one small organization that I
work with found that insuring their single 5000 sq ft community garden site
would cost more than $1200 per year.
been working over the past two months to figure out whether my organization,
The Green Institute, can provide leases and liability insurance for community
gardens as a stop-gap measure until a more sustainable plan can be
developed. At this time, it seems that we can insure these sites for
approximately $125 per garden per year. With an administrative fee, this
would mean something like $200 for the gardeners, still a very large jump from
$35. In order to demonstrate that The Green Institute has an insurable
interest in the garden, we will lease the lot from the property owner for a
minimal fee. Gardens are owned by a variety of entities, including the
city, the county, churches, schools, non-profits, and a railroad.
looking for input from other cities on how to make this work. I am
hopeful that you all have experiences from which I can learn. Anything
you can share would be helpful. Here are a few of the questions I need to
answer for my board of directors:
we need to enforce a “safety policy” regarding use of tillers, gas mowers, weed
whips, chainsaws, chippers, etc?
we need to require organic gardening practices?
can we enforce these requirements?
we need to have gardeners sign release forms?
we need to keep a list of who is allowed to enter the garden?
happens when unknown people enter the garden?
the discovery of uninsured activity in the gardens affect coverage of other
claims on these policies increase premiums across the rest of my organization?
you for your attention. This crisis affects more than one in four community
gardens in the Twin Cities.
can see from this list of questions, the learning curve ahead of us is
steep. If you have samples of contracts, policies, or other documents
that you cannot send electronically, please feel free to use the fax number
Zoll, Program Director
program of The Green Institute
21st Avenue South, Suite 110