Approved Guidelines for Insurance Against Errors and Omissions
Reducing Liability Risk
CSGA recognizes that each seed grower’s liability risks and insurance needs are unique. But an Annual Meeting resolution asked CSGA to investigate the potential of a national errors & omissions/damages policy for its members. Although this was not feasible, the following related information may be helpful.
Errors and Omissions Insurance
Errors & Omissions Insurance can reduce the cost of liability that accompanies operating errors or omissions. We are all human, and errors or omissions will occur in operating a business. One ‘errors and omissions’ liability insurance package in Canada is designed specifically for seed growers. Growers can learn more about this insurance at westlandinsurance.ca/business/seed-growers or contact the Westland Insurance Group by phone at 1-800-268-3675 or email.
Several businesses (i.e., landscaping nurseries) utilize warranty statements to potentially reduce liability associated with the performance of their living products like seeds and plants.
Warranty statements are hardly a cure-all in terms of waiving liability – the courts will ultimately decide the presence or absence of liability and the corresponding level of liability. However, a warranty statement does educate or alert the buyer that the seller wishes to limit their liability associated with the product. Such education and awareness can go a long way in avoiding Statements of Claim.
Growers may also consider a warranty statement limiting their liability on invoices. Legal advice can provide the wording best suited to the business. The following warranty statement may provide an example:
The buyer’s improper care and handling of this seed can nullify all stated and implied guarantees, or warranties, associated with the certified seed.
Doing Business in a Litigious Society
At a CSGA professional development session, Jason Mohrbutter of MLT Aikins outlined the basic foundation of a legal action involving seed. This summary of his presentation, Doing Business in a Litigious Society, may help seed growers understand the practices that can best position a business for seed litigation.