March 25th – Napa, CA—Napa County’s commercial farms and ranches have reported increased numbers of insurance non-renewals and cancelations over the past several years. Our recent wildfires have encroached upon agricultural lands with increasing regularity and intensity, leading to vineyards, orchards, grazing lands, infrastructure and livestock being either killed or completely destroyed.
Unlike homeowners and other commercial property owners, farming and ranching operations do not have access to basic property insurance provided by the California FAIR Plan. As a result, this leaves commercial agricultural infrastructure, farming equipment and other components uninsured. An uninsured farm cannot be collateralized for purposes of acquiring farm credit, and thus potentially could leave an operation with no access to capital to operate. The unavailability of insurance will have a profound impact on smaller and family run operations; potentially driving them out of business. The Farm Bureau has sponsored Senate Bill 11 (Rubio, 2021) and would authorize farms to access the FAIR Plan for basic property coverage and provide a necessary property insurance backstop for California’s farms and ranches.
“Napa County’s commercial farms and ranches are losing property insurance availability because of increased wildfire risks. However, unlike other homeowners and other commercial businesses, commercial farms and ranches are not eligible for coverage by the California FAIR Plan – the state’s insurer of last resort,” said Ryan Klobas, Chief Executive Officer of the Napa County Farm Bureau. “Senate Bill 11 corrects this by providing insurance for agricultural infrastructure utilized in the production of an agricultural commodity.”
Napa County Farm Bureau urges you to contact your state legislators and encourage support for Senate Bill 11.
For more information on Senate Bill 11 and the impacts on Napa Valley agricultural operations, please contact the Farm Bureau offices at (707) 224-5403