As a caterer, it’s likely you’ll face a wide range of challenges as you adapt to meet the needs of various clients and events.
This can include working at different venues, serving various menus based on customer requirements and working with different staff. Catering insurance can offer much-needed security and protection for your catering business, guarding against the risks you face so you can concentrate on providing your customers with a great experience.
Some of the core policies you should be offered as part of a catering insurance package include:
- Public liability insurance:
Public liability insurance covers your business against claims that your activities have caused injury to members of the public or damage to their property. This cover can provide financial assistance if you need to defend against and pay compensation for such claims.
- Product liability insurance:
Product liability insurance can provide financial assistance to defend against claims from members of the public that your product – that is, your food and drink – has caused them illness or injury. This includes food poisoning, contaminated food or drink and damage caused due to any wrapping and packaging – or even the instructions for use.
- Employers’ liability insurance:
If you employ staff in any capacity – whether full-time, part-time or temporary, on a paid or unpaid basis – you will be required by law to purchase employers’ liability insurance. This cover can provide financial assistance if your staff suffer illness or injury while working with you and decide to file a claim against your business.
- Buildings and contents insurance:
If you own a static catering business – for example, based in catering cabins, run counter service at pubs, restaurants, cafés and coffee shops, or run a takeaway shop – buildings insurance can be useful to protect the main structure of your premises and its permanent fixtures and fittings. For catering cabins, this may include kitchen appliances and equipment. If you rent your business premises, it is important to make sure you are fully insured for using the hired premises.
In addition, you could purchase contents insurance which can provide financial assistance if you need to repair or replace the contents within your business premises – again, this could include your kitchen appliances and equipment, but may also include packaging material and serving utensils.
- Stock insurance:
Stock insurance is often included in a contents insurance policy, and prove useful for protecting both the raw materials used to make your food and drink and the prepared final products. Your insurer may offer a seasonal stock increase cover to help ensure your stock is protected during busier times of the year, as well as providing compensation to replace your frozen food stock if it is lost due to equipment failure. If you are a mobile catering business, it may be worthwhile purchasing goods in transit insurance to protect your stock, tools and equipment while you’re travelling.
- Business equipment insurance:
Business equipment insurance can provide the financial assistance needed to repair or replace the equipment needed to run your business. This includes generators for outside or mobile catering, your kitchen equipment and appliances, food processing equipment and your cash register.
- Vehicle insurance:
If you transport food or equipment, you may need to purchase van insurance which can provide assistance with the costs that may arise due to faults or accidents. Many insurers also provide specific insurance for different types of vehicles used for mobile catering, such as portable cabin insurance, motorised food van insurance, towed catering insurance, trailer insurance and specific insurance for hot and cold food vehicles such as ice-cream vans, burger vans, fruit and vegetable stalls, market stalls, street food vans and Jiffy trucks.
- Business interruption insurance:
Business interruption insurance takes into account the circumstances outlined in the rest of your insurance package and can cover the loss of revenue you experience during the time it takes you to recover from an insured event.
- Loss of licence insurance:
If you serve alcohol as part of your catering business, loss of licence insurance can cover the loss of revenue you experience if you have lost your liquor licence. This will only cover the income you usually receive due to the sale of alcohol, and will depend on the circumstances in which you lost your licence.
- Cash on premises insurance:
It is important to purchase cash on premises insurance which can provide protection for your business’s money, whether you’re based in one location or are constantly moving around. Cash on premises insurance typically covers money in cash registers, left in safes and while in transit to-and-from the bank.
Depending on your circumstances, you may find the following policies appropriate as additions to your catering insurance package:
- If you cater for outside venues, you may need to purchase additional covers to account for the risks faced when catering outdoors.
- You may be interested in purchasing marquee insurance which takes into account the unique risks faced when catering under a marquee.
- If you cater for overseas clients, you may need to ensure your policy covers you for work done abroad.
- As events and functions often face the risk of being cancelled or postponed, it may be worthwhile purchasing cancellation cover to help cover the cost of preparing for an event that does not commence as planned.
Before purchasing a catering insurance package, make sure you read the policy wording carefully, ensuring you fully understand the terms and conditions and any exclusions that may apply. Note that if you run supper clubs or other home catering businesses, you could still benefit from purchasing an appropriate level of catering insurance.
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