Senator Pam Helming today announced that a bill that she co-sponsored to reduce the cost of insurance for agritourism businesses was signed into law. The cost of liability insurance is becoming increasingly costly particularly for small farms that host agritourism activities, such as U-Pick produce, U-Cut Christmas trees, farm and winery tours, snowmobiling, hunting, and other forms of outdoor recreation.
“Agritourism businesses throughout the Wayne-Finger Lakes region and across New York State thrive because people enjoy the opportunity to pick their own produce and tour the local farms. The agricultural industry is one of our region’s top revenue generators and job creators. Regulatory red tape is a challenge for New York business owners, including agricultural businesses. Reducing unnecessary regulations allows these businesses to generate revenue that supports our tax base and creates jobs. Under this legislation, business owners – especially small farmers – can make visitors aware of the risks of participation and reduce their insurance costs. I was proud to join my colleagues in supporting this important measure, and it is great to have it signed into law to help our local farms,” Senator Helming said.
This legislation will reduce the financial and regulatory burdens on these businesses by allowing them to recognize the inherent risks of their operations and better predict their liability. Prior to this legislation, New York State had no uniform law addressing the standards of liability for agritourism businesses, making it difficult to plan legal and insurance costs. By creating explicit, uniform standards, this legislation allows agritourism businesses to predict their costs and creates a better business climate for this industry.