When you start a food business, whether that’s a restaurant, a food truck, a catering service, or a home bakery (or any other food-oriented business), you need to purchase appropriate food liability insurance. Liability insurance protects you from claims that third parties make against you. It’s commonly included in customized plans for the food industry.
We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of shopping for food liability insurance. We decided to compare several insurance companies and select the best food liability insurance companies for your consideration.
- 4 best food liability insurance companies
- What is food liability insurance?
- Who needs food liability insurance?
- What does food liability insurance cover?
- How much does food liability insurance cost?
- Finding cheap quotes for restaurant general liability insurance
- Best insurance companies for restaurants and other food businesses
4 best food liability insurance companies
We compared insurance companies that offer food liability insurance. The following four companies were the best we found.
- Simply Business: Best for comparing insurance quotes
- NEXT: Best coverage for foodborne illness and reasonable rates
- InsurePro: Best short-term liability coverage
- FLIP: Best for those wanting dedicated custom limits
Simply Business: Best for comparing insurance quotes
Simply Business is an insurance broker that relies on partner companies to provide insurance quotes and services. The company is based in the UK and is owned by Travelers. The company does the initial legwork of finding quotes that are right for your business.
After the legwork is done, the remainder of the policy work is the job of a third party. Third-party providers handle underwriting, claims, and customer service once you’ve purchased your policy.
- Receive quotes from multiple providers
- Several coverage and policies are available for food businesses. It can be a convenient one-stop shop for food businesses.
- Resource library that provides information on various coverage needs
- All policies are serviced through a third party
- Can’t file claims on the Simply Business site
Here is the quote we obtained from Simply Business for a small food cart in Hartselle, Alabama.
As you can see, it costs less than $30 per month for a small food cart to have proper liability insurance coverage. If the business need another coverage such as commercial auto or commercial property policy, Simply Business can help round around with a few providers and compare to find the cheapest quote for the business.
NEXT: Best coverage for foodborne illness and reasonable rates
The general liability coverage from NEXT includes foodborne illness coverage. This coverage is a substitute for product liability coverage that NEXT doesn’t offer. NEXT allows customers to bundle general liability and commercial property in one business owner’s policy.
NEXT allows you to access free certificates of insurance online. Other online services include adding additional insureds and paying premiums online.
- Free live certificate of insurance
- Bundle commercial property and general liability insurance in a BOP
- Reasonable and affordable rates for small businesses
- Get a 10% discount when you bundle at least two policies
- Doesn’t offer coverage for all types of food businesses
We obtained a quote from NEXT for a small bakery and coffee shop. The following is the result of that request.
InsurePro: Best short-term liability coverage
InsurePro is another brokerage specializing in providing short-term coverage for small businesses. General liability insurance is available for food stands, restaurants, grocery stores, food trucks, and other food-related businesses. Customers can choose a policy that renews annually or a short-term policy. Short-term policies are available for lengths of time, from a few hours, a few days, to months. Short-term policies can also be available for one particular project as well. This would be ideal for catering businesses that only need coverage for one particular project that require them to show insurance coverage.
InsurePro gives customers the ability to purchase general liability insurance with some other coverages. Those coverages include commercial property insurance, commercial auto insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.
- Short-term liability insurance for food businesses
- Instant coverage online
- Customers are insured within 60 seconds
- Not available everywhere
FLIP: Best for those wanting dedicated custom limits
FLIP stands for Food Liability Insurance Program. They offer a 100% online application process, an instant certificate, and free unlimited additional insureds. The company’s agents don’t earn a commission and are available to answer any questions you might have.
FLIP covers concessions, food carts, caterers, bakers, private chefs, farmers’ markets, and other food service businesses. The coverage programs start at $24.92 a month for general liability coverage. Coverages for food businesses also come with inland marine coverage.
FLIP offers more than food liability insurance. The company also has other liability coverages to offer. Policies offer equipment coverage in addition to liability coverage.
- Instant insurance online
- Unlimited additional insureds
- Covers various kinds of small food businesses
- Customer service is said to be unresponsive
We requested a quote from FLIP for a home-based baker. The following quote shows the result. It took less than 10 minutes to request and receive the quote.
What is food liability insurance?
Food liability insurance is insurance that protects people in the food business from claims that something they did while preparing or serving food caused harm to someone. Harm can be bodily injury or property damage for that someone. Typical forms of insurance offered to those in the food service industry include general liability, public liability, food product liability, professional liability for a food service business, and liquor liability insurance.
Who needs food liability insurance?
There are a number of businesses that need food liability insurance coverage. These businesses include restaurants, food trucks, cafeterias, catering companies, and grocery stores. The reason these businesses need this type of insurance is because they are responsible for the food that they serve or sell. If someone gets sick from eating the food, the business can be held liable. Having food liability insurance can help protect these businesses from costly lawsuits.
What does food liability insurance cover?
Food liability insurance protects the business from any legal issues that may arise from someone becoming sick after eating something from the business. Food liability insurance can help protect the business from lawsuits, as well as cover any medical costs that may be associated with the illness.
Small businesses usually get a comprehensive general liability insurance policy which can include food liability coverage. Bigger businesses may want to get two separate general liability and product liability policies to ensure they have proper coverage for different incidents.
How much does food liability insurance cost?
Like many other insurance products, food business insurance costs depend on several factors. Those include location, revenue, business history, claims history, number of employees, and other things. You can expect the average cost of food liability insurance to be around $27 per month or $324 per year for $1 million worth of coverage.
The best way to get an estimated cost of your food business insurance is to compare quotes. You can do that by working with a broker like Simply Business, Smart Financial, or Commercialinsurance.net who can return multiple quotes at one time, or you can get numerous quotes by contacting various companies.
Finding cheap quotes for restaurant general liability insurance
If you own a restaurant, you will likely be working to find ways to cut costs for your insurance. Here are some practical tips for bringing costs down.
- Prevent fires
- Deduce slips and falls
- Keep alcohol sales below 50% of all sales
- Bundle policies when possible
Learn more at the best general liability insurance for restaurants
Best insurance companies for restaurants and other food businesses
If you own a restaurant, you know that you need business insurance to protect you from potential lawsuits. Restaurants and food businesses are actually riskier than you’d think.
There are a variety of accidents that can happen in a restaurant. Slip and fall accidents are common, as are burns from cooking accidents. If someone is injured in your restaurant, you will want to be sure that you have restaurant insurance to protect you from any legal damages that may come as a result. This insurance can also help to cover the costs of any medical expenses that may be incurred as a result of the accident.
Food business insurance
Food business insurance is an insurance policy that provides coverage for businesses that sell food products. It typically covers losses resulting from liability, property damage, theft, and other risks associated with the sale of food. Coverage typically includes:
- product liability insurance, which protects against claims of injury or illness due to a product;
- business interruption insurance, which protects against loss of income due to unforeseen events like fires or hurricanes; and
- equipment breakdown coverage, which pays for repairs or replacements if kitchen equipment suddenly fails.
- Food businesses may also need worker’s compensation insurance, general liability insurance, and umbrella coverage. These are the common insurance policies for any business. You can get generic policies or policies customized for food businesses and restaurants. Learn more at workers comp insurance for restaurants, general liability insurance for restaurants, and umbrella insurance.
The average cost of food business insurance is around $48 per month or $576 per year. This is for a $1M general liability insurance policy. If you add product liability or food-borne illness coverage, you will pay around $66 per month.
Food vendor insurance
Food vendor insurance is a type of business insurance specifically designed for food vendors, such as at farmers markets, fairs, and festivals. It typically includes coverage for property damage and liability related to the sale of food. Liability coverage may include protection against claims of bodily injury or property damage stemming from the sale, preparation, or transportation of food. Property coverage may also be included to protect any physical assets owned by the food vendor.
Additional coverage may include product liability, worker’s compensation, pollution liability, loss of inventory due to theft or fire, and liquor liability if alcoholic beverages are served.
If you run a food vending business and regularly attend farmers market, fairs, or festivals, you will learn that many organizers require you have at least liability insurance to be admitted to their fairs or events.
In the food service business, it’s essential to have appropriate insurance coverage. Several companies offer policies that specifically cater to the food service industry. Typically that coverage begins with general liability and adds coverage that is specific to the food service industry.
For the best deal on food liability insurance, shop for quotes. You might choose an online broker, or you might decide to shop with several companies and gather your own quotes. Either way, ensure that you are comparing apples to apples, so to speak, and compare the limits and coverages before deciding which is the best deal for you.