Catering insurance has always existed for the specific needs of hospitality businesses that either deliver or provide their services directly upon their customers’ premises.
As such, it is different from and complementary to the kind of business insurance coverage traditional restaurants and bars have required.
But with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the growth in the provision of curbside pick-up and home delivery services, now may be a good time for a review of your insurance to ensure that you have all necessary coverages in place.
The Key Elements of Catering Insurance
Catering businesses, and restaurants that are now offering off-site services, operate in a wide variety of ways. So there is no one size fits all policy that is likely to be suitable for all.
But almost all businesses will probably need one or more of the following coverages.
This is designed to cover you for any loss or damage occurring during an event which for which you provide catering on a customer’s premises. This may be as mundane as minor breakages. But it should also include coverage for any injury to the person or damage to the property of third-party guests.
It doesn’t matter whether your staff are using their own vehicles to provide a delivery service or ones owned by your business. You will almost certainly need to get commercial auto insurance coverage.
And even if you’re using a third-party delivery service it’s advisable to ask for details of their own insurances to see what potential liabilities they may be purporting to exclude – in other words, to put on to you.
Business Owners’ Policy (BOP)
Yes, you probably have this already. But it likely won’t cover you for liabilities arising from new operations of a kind not envisaged at the time you took out the policy.
Remember that all insurance policies are offered subject to a requirement of what lawyers call “uberrima fides”, which is Latin for the utmost good faith. In layman’s terms that means that your insurer may well try to avoid paying out if they believe you have not disclosed everything about your business’s method of operation – whether you believed it to be relevant or not.
It’s crucially important therefore that you check your BOP carefully. And if you think it may not cover your catering services you can either take advice about seeking a supplementary policy or having the necessary new coverages rolled into a comprehensive catering policy.
Aside from liability considerations, you also need to ensure that any of your equipment being used off-site is protected by insurance both during transit and while in use on third-party premises.
Food and Liquor
Having your team prepare and serve or deliver food offsite inevitably increases the risk of contamination. So it’s essential that you have insurance against liability for any illness caused in this way.
Liquor liability coverage is also important protection if your business involves the serving of alcohol. And that applies both on and offsite.
Catering Insurance: Talk to the Experts
A purpose-built catering insurance policy is often the most cost-effective way to get the coverage you need.
But what that coverage is will depend on the exact nature of your business operations and the detailed terms conditions and exclusions of your existing policies.
So to avoid any expensive duplications in your coverage or potentially even more costly omissions it’s important to take the kind of individually tailored, expert advice that we specialize in at Brashears.
You can find out more by calling us on 805-564-7645 or sending us a message here.