st jacob farmers market fire business insurance

Business insurance claims denied to vendors at hugely popular farmer’s market

Some of the sellers at the St. Jacob’s Farmers’ Market which was destroyed by a fire will not receive a payment.

The start of September brought devastation to a farmer’s market so unique that every year, it brings in crowds from around the world, but business insurance couldn’t save some vendor from the losses that were incurred from a massive fire that destroyed the main building.

Early on Labor Day morning, flame engulfed the sprawling two-story building, leaving only rubble behind.

Now, several St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market vendors are being informed that their business insurance does not provide them with coverage to their equipment or their supplies. Some experts in the industry are shaking their heads, but have explained that this does not come as a surprise to them at all.

This only underscores the importance of understanding what business insurance covers, and what it does not.

The coordinator of the Conestoga College Business Insurance Program, Glenn Planert, who is also the father of one of the vendors at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, explained that he is not surprised that some of the vendors are experiencing this unfortunate discovery. He stated that “this does happen,” with the type of coverage that many of the other vendors had purchased.

The fire has now displaced 67 different vendors from their previous locations within the large building. In order to sell at the market, each vendor was required to have at least a $2 million liability coverage. That covered the market and the individual vendor in case a bad product was ever sold.

However, liability business insurance does not extend to protecting a vendor against the loss of equipment or product. Those need to be specifically covered. Unfortunately, too many of the vendors didn’t know enough about coverage to understand that this was the case. That said, due to the nature of the situation, the coverage needs are very complicated, so even Planert’s daughter – the owner of Market Cupcakes – was able to achieve only partial coverage.

Planert explained that business insurance is a complex issue and that “Life happens, you get a new piece of equipment and don’t tell the insurance company, the market burns down, you don’t recover for that. They have to know about it to insure it.” Fire experts believe that $2 million in damages have resulted from the fire.

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