Dominique Sanfacon, LL.B., CIP, CRM

Insuring a Vineyard, an Added Value to Farm Insurance

For the last thirty years, vineyards in Quebec have popped up in many regions. Vineyards can be found on the Island of Orleans, which used to be known as l’Isle de Bacchus, in Estrie and even in the North Shore of Montreal.  A quick search reveals some interesting routes to follow to visit grape growers and discover the full range of their products.  In the fall, many f them allow access to their vineyards to take part in the wine harvest.  This is a great occasion to learn more about the practices of this industry.

Over the years, the equipment has evolved, the climate has gotten warmer by a few degrees and grape growers have refined their techniques in order to offer us quality products with more and more diversity. Just as in the microbrewery sector, there is a support network between microbreweries that allows them to perfect their art from one batch to the next.

As with any farming activity, that involving vineyards brings its own risks, including frost, hail, insects, birds, mushrooms, diseases, vandals, and even vehicle collisions, just to name a few. Grape growers expend enormous amounts of energy to bring a vineyard to maturity. Thankfully, growers have more and more the means to manage different risks: wind machine, soil analysis, netting, tarp, electrostatic sprayers, etc. And all the better since insurers in Quebec, unlike its European neighbours, offer very little to no coverage for the actual vineyard.

Vineyard insurance

But what about other insurance products are available? It’s true that vineyard insurance is very similar to farm insurance, which allows many producers to be covered. The standard contract will offer coverage for buildings, equipment breakdown, various contractor equipment (tractors, cutting table, etc.), the material needed for production (vats, barrels, bottles), civil liability and, for the more cautious ones, coverage for loss of profit and inventory.

A vineyard’s operations will however differ when it comes to these points:

  • The harvested product (the grape and its juice) will acquire value as its transformation progresses. Thus, it is important to insure it differently than a farm product.
  • Many sites also offer a reception, catering or restaurant service. This activity must therefore be insured adequately.
  • Depending on the number of bottles produced, the sales will primarily take place at the vineyard instead of store only or the SAQ, which means that public traffic will increase on site.

What can your Lareau broker offer you that is more advantageous to target the specific needs of your vineyard?

  • Product insurance based on the selling price clause
  • Worldwide civil liability coverage
  • Product recall insurance (for example, in the event of contamination or mislabeling)
  • Insurance limit for the risk of contamination of your products
  • Insurance for the indirect loss of your products as a result of an equipment breakdown, including production machines
  • Cyber risk insurance
  • Legal expenses insurance
  • Pollution insurance when a third party is involved but also premises clean-up cost
  • Possibility of civil liability insurance that extends to storage and visitors’ property

Lareau cares about the wine-making sector. As a matter of fact, we are members of the AVQ.  To learn more about our products or for a deeper and personalized analysis of your insurance needs, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you.


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Dominique Sanfacon, LL.B., CIP, CRM Claims VP and Associate Partner
Claims Adjuster
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