Massachusetts Delicatessen Insurance Policy Information
Massachusetts Delicatessen Insurance. Delicatessens sell cold cuts, pre-cooked meats, prepared salads, soups, and baked goods. There may be a limited amount of fresh meat available for sale along with other grocery-type items. Most delicatessens have limited seating for on-premises consumption, but many customers order take-out items only. Many prepare their own products for sale, such as salads, soups, and sandwiches. Others process fresh meat by smoking or curing.
Sanitary conditions and strict housekeeping standards are crucial. Operations may be plagued by insects and rodents if standards are not set and maintained, and if disposal of food waste is not properly handled.
The owner of a deli has a lot of responsibilities to deal with, and insurance is definitely part of that. Owning a delicatessen can be one of the most rewarding things that you do, but you still need to worry about liability; that's why getting the right insurance is important.
There are specific types of commercial insurance that are most important when it comes to owning a delicatessen, and then there are some additional options that you may want to consider as well. If you are thinking about starting a deli, then you are definitely going to want to know what types of insurance you need and what your options are. Let's take a look at the types of Massachusetts delicatessen insurance that you might need to make sure that you and your company are protected.
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Insurance Needs & Coverages For Delis
Let's take a look at some of the most important types of Massachusetts delicatessen insurance. In this type of business, there are three that are the most important. Let's look at each of them in detail:
- General Liability or a Business Owner's Policy
- Worker's Compensation Insurance
Commercial general liability is a type of business insurance that covers you any time that you are liable for something that happens to customers. For example, if you have people coming in and out of your delicatessen right after mopping the floor, there is at least some chance of slipping and falling.
There are also sharp knives, broken glass and plates, heavy equipment like salad bar tables that customers interact with regularly and lots of other hazards inside of your shop. You want to protect yourself and your business is much as possible, and that's exactly where a general liability insurance policy comes in.
Business Owner's Policy
You may also want to go with a business owners policy. This is the second of the three important Massachusetts delicatessen insurance policies. A business owner's policy actually bundles the general liability insurance that we discussed earlier with property insurance. Property insurance is important for any business that has actual premises where customers come.
Included in a business owners policy is coverage would cover all your business property inside your your deli, like your booths, tables, chairs, and your kitchen equipment. It can also include coverage for your inventory, including food and beverages.
For a delicatessen, property insurance is very important. If something happens to your building, such as a natural disaster, fire or flood, your business is going to stop earning money because you are not going to be able to serve customers. But property insurance protects you against this and allows you to rebuild quickly seeking get back to earning money.
The BOP bundles property and business income insurance with the general liability insurance discussed earlier to give a comprehensive Massachusetts delicatessen insurance package.
Workers Compensation Insurance
If you have employees, then you are going to need Workers compensation. Worker's comp is required by law in most states. It is a type of insurance that provides medical benefits to employees that are injured on the job. In the case of a deli, employees are even more susceptible to injuries than customers.
Employees must walk on wet floors, handle potentially dangerous items like hot grills and refrigeration units with sharp corners, extremely sharp knives or other heavy cooking equipment, or they may simply be injured because of carrying heavy trays or stacking boxes on delivery day. An example is an employee could suffer a lower back injury if they are not properly trained in lifting techniques and pull their back unloading heavy boxes of frozen foods.
Workers compensation provides them with money for medical bills if they are injured on the job as well as money to replace lost income during the time that they are recovering from their work injury.
Other Deli Insurance Policy Considerations
There are also more complex risks for certain type of ethnic delis to consider like Jewish Delis keeping up costly kosher standards - such as keeping kosher by using biblical precepts to ritually slaughter animals, not serving pork or shellfish, and carefully keeping a 2 sets of kitchenware to prepare dairy and meat dishes separately.
Massachusetts Deli's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is moderate due to public access. If there is seating, customers will move around the delicatessen with beverages and food items, generating spills that can result in slips and falls. Spills should be cleaned up promptly. Temperatures of hot beverages must be limited to reduce injuries due to scalding. Lists of ingredients should be posted to prevent allergic reactions. Customers may become ill from ingesting contaminated food or beverages.
Cleanliness standards must be monitored. Floor covering must be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. Sufficient exits must exist and be well marked, with backup lighting systems in case of power failure. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair, with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and falls. Outdoor security and lighting must be consistent with the area.
Products liability exposure results from food poisoning, contamination and allergic reactions from food and beverages carried off premises for consumption. Monitoring the quality of food received, posting lists of ingredients, and maintaining proper storage temperature can reduce this exposure. There should be controls in place to prevent contamination from chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides used for pest control. The stock should be regularly rotated so older, but not out of date, stock is sold first, and out of date stock is removed and discarded.
Workers compensation exposures come from lifting that can cause back injury, hernias, sprains, or strains, slips, and falls, burns, cuts, puncture wounds, foreign objects in the eye, and interactions with customers. Food handling can result in passing bacteria or viruses, resulting in illness. Employees should be provided with safety equipment, trained on proper handling techniques, and have conveying devices available to assist with heavy lifting.
Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome plague meat workers, as do cuts and potential injury from saws, grinders, and other meat processing equipment. Guards and/or protection devices should be in place. Anhydrous ammonia refrigerants are poisonous when leaked into confined spaces such as coolers. Controls must be in place to maintain, check, and prevent such injury.
Cleaning workers can develop respiratory ailments or contact dermatitis from working with chemicals. In any retail business, hold-ups are possible, so employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner. The employees tend to be minimum wage and turnover may be high. Company incentives to encourage long-term employment are positive signs of management control.
Property exposure is from electrical wiring, cooking equipment, refrigeration units, and heating and air conditioning equipment. All wiring should be current, up to code, and well maintained. The refrigeration units can put tremendous strain on any electrical system. Ammonia used in refrigeration units can explode. A system designed to detect leaks should be in place. Cooking may be limited to ovens.
All grills and deep fat fryers must have automatic fire extinguishing protection, hoods, and filters. There should be fuel shut-offs and adequate hand-held fire extinguishers. The kitchen must be kept clean and grease free to prevent the spread of fire. Filters should be changed regularly. Spoilage exposure is very high. Power outages of even moderate duration can render fresh and frozen goods to be condemned as unfit for consumption or sale. Alarms and warning devices should be in place to alert the operation to loss of power.
Backup power, such as a generator, should be available. Business income with extended time period coverage should be purchased. While clientele tends to be fairly loyal, they may switch after a major loss due to the lag time between the re-opening and the return to full operations.
Equipment breakdown exposures can be high as operations are dependent on refrigeration and cooking equipment which can break down or malfunction. A lengthy breakdown could result in a severe loss, both direct and under time element.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Criminal background checks should be conducted on any employee handling money. Money should be regularly stripped from the cash drawer and moved to a safe away from the door. Irregular drops should be made to the bank during the day to prevent substantial accumulations of cash. Closing time is the most vulnerable time so security procedures should be in place to prevent holdups. There must be a separation of duties between employees handling deposits and disbursements and reconciling bank statements.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivables if customers are billed, computers for tracking inventories, and valuable papers and records for employee and supplier records.
Business auto exposure may be limited to hired or non-owned liability exposures from employees using their vehicles to run errands. If delivery services are provided, only company vehicles should be used. Drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles should be properly maintained, and records retained.
Additional Massachusetts Deli Insurance Coverage
There are some additional business insurance types that you want to be aware of when it comes to owning a deli in MA. Whenever you have a food or drink business where you have to store items on site that may spoil, you might want to consider spoilage insurance. If a freezer unit goes out or some other incident happens that causes lots of inventory to spoil, it can be useful to have spoilage insurance to keep your business going.
You may also want to consider employer practices liability in case someone brings a discrimination suit or other employer practices suit, you may want to protect yourself against damage from utilities like water lines or sewage, or you may simply want to add on an umbrella coverage policy that gives you more protection above and beyond than the other types of liability insurance that you already have.
Massachusetts Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
If you are thinking about starting a business in the Massachusetts, it's important that you have an understanding of the economic trends and commercial insurance requirements in the state before you set up shop.
Economic trends are important, as they indicate whether or not the area offers a strong economy that will be able to support your business. You also need to know what type of commercial insurance you'll need to carry so that you can plan accordingly and ensure that you are complaint with the law.
To help you determine if the Bay State is the right location for the business you are thinking about opening, below, you'll find an overview of MA's current economic trends, as well as the types of insurance policies you'll need to carry.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Massachusetts
Unemployment rate is a good indicator of a state's economy. The lower the rate, the more job opportunities there are, which is direct reflection of the health of businesses.
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts was 2.8% in December, 2019. That's 0.7% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% in December, 2019. This indicates that the state offers a strong workforce and that there are enough jobs to support the residents of the state.
While regions throughout the area are seeing business growth, there are certain areas in particular that are seeing more growth than others. This includes large metropolitan areas and the regions that surround them, including:
- New Bedford
Several industries are doing very well in the state of Massachusetts; however, there are particular sectors that are seeing more growth than others and are truly thriving in this part of the country. These industries include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Commercial fishing
- Financial services
- Hospitality tourism
- Information technology
- Medicine and life sciences
If you are thinking about starting a business in any of these industries, chances are good that you will find the success you are looking for in the state of Massachusetts.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Division of Insurance regulates insurance in MA. Massachusetts mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Massachusetts requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors, but employees in domestic service must be covered if they work at least 16 hours a week.
Massachusetts also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Food Service Insurance
Learn about restaurants, bars, liquor stores commercial insurance coverages. See how small business food service insurance help protect against accidents, oversights and lawsuits resulting from business operations.
- Bagel Shop
- Beer Distributor
- Coffee Shop
- Concession Stand
- Farmers Market
- Grocery Store
- Ice Cream Shop
- Internet Cafe
- Liquor Liability
- Liquor Store
- Sandwich Shops
Bars, taverns, restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking places have significant insurance needs in three separate areas.
The first is property protection for physical damage to equipment, furnishings, building and supplies due to fire and other perils.
The second is premises liability coverage to protect customers due to slips, trips and falls on the premises, as well as for consumption of food products.
The final need is protection for employees due to frequent cuts, burns and other common employee injuries. Establishments that sell or serve liquor or other alcoholic beverages also need liquor liability coverage.
Slips and falls, along with customer illness due to being served tainted food or drink, are the primary liability exposures. The commercial general liability (CGL) is used to provide coverage for these exposures.
It is important to note that liquor liability coverage is excluded under the CGL form if a risk is in the business of serving alcoholic beverages. Many establishments in this category should therefore consider purchasing a separate liquor liability coverage form.
Restaurant kitchen equipment, inventory and dining room fixtures are common exposures for most eating and drinking places. Many of these establishments do not own the buildings they occupy but have long-term leases and have invested money in various improvements and betterments, including cooking equipment, dining room decorations and permanent fixtures.
There are major differences in the food service business and the very different exposures they present. There are many specific types of restaurants to cater to individual needs and tastes. There a several main commercial insurance classifications for food service.
Concessionaires: The most basic "eat on the run" type of restaurant is not classified as a restaurant at all but is referred to as a concessionaire. Class Code 11168: Concessionaires applies and the accompanying note states that all food and beverages must be sold through hawking or peddling. There can be no location to which customers walk up and purchase the food. This classification includes food sold at sporting events, exhibitions, and parks.
Caterers: Are very similar to restaurants with significant differences. The caterer prepares the meals at its own kitchen or commissary and then transports it to the locations where it will be served. Some final preparation may take place at the final location but the majority generally takes place at the caterer's location. The caterer's employees serve the meals and beverages and oversee the consumption of the food.
Restaurants: The way restaurants are categorized and classified uses the percentage of alcoholic beverage sales as the first criteria, followed by other features or operations.
Common to all of these categories is that entertainment-oriented venues such as nightclubs, cabarets, dance halls, discotheques, and comedy clubs must be separately classified and rated. This means that the sales that those entertainment activities generate must be broken out and rated separately from the sale or food and drink.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Spoilage, Equipment Breakdown, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Nonowned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Accounts Receivables, Bailees Customers, Fine Arts, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Environmental Impairment, Liquor Liability, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Garagekeepers and Stop Gap Liability.
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