Montana Beer Distributor Insurance Policy Information
Montana Beer Distributor Insurance. If you are a beer distributor, then you are definitely going to need insurance. This is the same for any beverage bottler and distributor, but most insurance companies do not have specific insurance plans already set up for beverage distribution or for thousands of other occupations and marketplace services out there.
Beer and ale wholesalers receive packaged goods from foreign or domestic distilleries for distribution to package liquor stores, grocery stores, restaurants, concession stands, and other retail establishments. The distribution center may be open 24 hours a day. Generally the product is delivered to the customer on the distributor's vehicles.
Luckily, there are some insurance companies that do have a plan in place for beverage distribution including beer. The way that works is by customizing standard types of insurance that every business needs so that it is geared specifically for MT beer distribution and then adding on any Montana beer distributor insurance coverages needed. Let's take a look at those standard and extra insurance options.
Montana beer distributor insurance protects your beverage distribution business from lawsuits with rates as low as $77/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Insurance Is Crucial For Beer Distributors
Without insurance, you will have to pay any expenses that you are liable for out of your own pocket, including legal fees, property damages, and personal injuries; but, with the right Montana beer distributor insurance coverage, you can avoid the financial repercussions that are associated with the risks that your MT beer distribution business faces.
What Type Of Insurance Should Beer Distributors Have?
Regardless of the specifics of your beverage distribution business, there are certain types of insurance that all MT beer ditributors should carry, including:
Fleet & Transportation - The first type of insurance that you may want to consider is fleet and transportation insurance. If you are a large beer distribution company, then you may have lots of different types of vehicles that you use in order to ship your product to the retailers that are going to be selling it.
Even if you are a small distributor, you're still going to have a least a couple of commercial vehicles that are used to deliver your products around the city or state. You will need commercial automobile insurance on those vehicles. What comes with the commercial automotive insurance plan will depend upon the state you live in and the insurance company that you choose.
General Liability - General liability insurance is really common type of insurance when it comes to businesses. Just about every business has general liability insurance because it covers a whole host of things that businesses need. When it comes to the business seeds of beer distributors and manufacturers, customize policies like bodily injury, property damage, personal injury insurance, damage to premises and important insurance for beer manufacturers that produce their own grains like fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide coverage.
Seed liability insurance is another common offering for farmers and others whose income depends upon whether any other agricultural factors. Of course, general liability insurance also sometimes covers things like employment practices liability insurance, product recall insurance and a whole lot more.
Commercial Property - Another type of insurance that is extremely common is property insurance. Property insurance protects your property in various ways. Some of this may be from natural disasters, while others may protect you from mishaps as well as fires and floods that were set on purpose.
Theft, vandalism and faulty equipment may be other protections your property insurance offers. The important thing to remember about property insurance is that it protects your actual premises - which are usually the manufacturing facility that you are based out of and where you store or make your product.
Workers Compensation - Anyone with more than a couple of employees is going to need worker's compensation insurance. Workers comp is a type of insurance that is designed to pay for employee's medical needs if they are injured on the job. In many cases, it even pays lost wages for the time that they are recovering.
This type of insurance is vital for employers for a couple of reasons. First, it prevents you from being sued due to employee injuries - which could cost you a whole lot more than what you would pay for worker's comp premiums. More importantly, worker's compensation insurance is required by law in most states.
Other Types Of Commercial Insurance
Above are just a few examples of the Montana beer distributor insurance coverage that should be purchased. If you store your formulas and data online or if they are sent between devices on a network, having insurance against cyber-attack may be something you want to consider.
In addition, there are plenty of enhancements they can go along with the insurance programs previously mentioned including employment practices liability insurance, liquor liability, loss control services and industry specific risk insurance that you set up with your agent in advance. You always want to make sure that you have a transparent and professional insurance agent that is willing to create a custom plan that will specifically cater to beer distribution or has a plan in place already that is designed to meet your needs.
MT beverage distribution is an important responsibility and definitely requires the right Montana beer distributor insurance.
MT Beer Distribution Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is generally limited due to lack of public access to the storage facilities. If customers pick up goods, loading docks must be clearly marked and user-friendly. Customers should be confined to specific areas that are kept clean, dry and free of obstacles. Contracts with transportation and storage providers may expose the operation to additional liability. Railroad sidetrack agreements pose additional concerns.
If there is a railroad sidetrack or dock, an employee must verify that no one is in the path of an incoming or outgoing train. Railroad tracks and conveyors can be attractive nuisances. The premises should be enclosed by fencing with "No Trespassing" signs posted.
Products liability exposure is low if products are all from domestic manufacturers. All products should be dated and stored as required by the manufacturer to allow easy access in case of recall.
Environmental impairment exposure can be high due to ammonia and other refrigerants and fuel tanks used to service vehicles. All underground tanks and pipes should be routinely tested for leakage. Spill procedures must be in place to prevent the accidental discharge of contaminants. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals. Record keeping is critical.
Liquor liability exposure is low if tours are not permitted and samples are not given out. All serving of alcohol must comply with state and federal regulations. Employees must be trained to recognize signs of intoxication.
Workers compensation exposure is very high. Lifting injuries such as back pain, hernias, sprains and strains are common so workers should be trained in proper lifting techniques and to use conveyances. Forklift operators must be properly trained. Shelving must be stable to prevent stored goods from falling onto workers.
Leaking ammonia is a serious health hazard that can lead to lung damage or even death. Protective breathing equipment must be available to all workers in the event of any ammonia leak. Floor coverings or coatings may be slick and accumulate condensation, posing slip and fall hazards. Housekeeping is critical.
To avoid frostbite and hypothermia resulting from exposure to sub-zero temperatures, the length of time spent in refrigerated areas must be limited, and protective clothing required.
Property exposure comes from multiple ignition sources, open construction, and the combustibility and the damageability of the beer and ale and packing materials. Ignition sources are from electrical wiring, equipment, and refrigeration units. All wiring must be well maintained and up to code for the occupancy. The age, condition and maintenance of coolers and refrigeration equipment are important to review.
Ammonia leaks could cause an explosion. There should be detection systems, emergency shut-off valves, and exhaust systems to allow venting in the case of a leak. Ammonia pipes should run outside the building to prevent accidental collision with forklifts inside the building, and have impact barriers around them to prevent contact with vehicles. Alarms should be in place to warn of power outage or shutdown. Backup generators should be available in case of equipment failure.
Good housekeeping and fire controls are critical. Smoking should be prohibited. Even a small loss can cause all stock to be condemned by the FDA due to possible heat, smoke or water contamination. If there is a sprinkler system, heads must be located high enough to avoid accidental contact with forklifts. Recharging of forklifts and maintenance of vehicles should be done in a separate, ventilated area away from combustibles.
Beer and ale may be a target for thieves. Appropriate security controls must be taken including physical barriers to prevent entrance to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.
Business income and extra expense exposures are high. Recovering from a loss could require a lengthy time to rebuild the facility and purchase replacement refrigeration equipment. Business income from dependent properties is a concern because most beer distributors work with only one manufacturer.
Equipment breakdown exposures are significant as temperatures must remain constant for refrigeration equipment. All equipment must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Backup generators should be available. Additional coverage for spoilage and ammonia contamination should be considered as even a small power interruption could result in a large loss.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. This operation involves a number of transactions and accounts that can be manipulated if duties are not separated. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Regular audits, both internal and external, are important in order to prevent employee theft of accounts. Physical inventories should be conducted at least annually.
Inland marine exposure is from accounts receivable if the distributor offers credit to customers, computers for tracking inventory, contractors' equipment, goods in transit, and valuable papers and records for manufacturers' and customers' records. Duplicates must be kept of all data to permit easy replication in the event of a loss. Contractors' equipment includes forklifts, cherry pickers, and hand trucks used for moving stored items.
While goods may come to the warehouse via common carriers or trains, goods are generally delivered to retailers on trucks owned by the distributor. Goods in transit are subject to breakage losses from collision or overturn. Due to the potential for theft, vehicles should be unmarked, have alarms and be attended at all times.
Commercial auto exposure comes from the salespersons' fleet and delivery vehicles. There should be written policies on personal and permissive use of any vehicles provided to employees. All drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained, including refrigeration systems, with records kept in central locations.
Beer Distributor Insurance
To ensure your beverage distribution business is properly protected, speak with an experienced agent that specializes in Montana beer distributor insurance.
Montana Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Thinking about starting a new business? Already own a successful business and want to expand your operations? Whatever the case may be, if you want to experience as much success as possible, you are going to want to ensure you choose the best possible location for your specific industry.
No matter how outstanding your goods and services may be, if the area where your business is located doesn't offer a healthy climate that will support your company, chances are you'll struggle to succeed.
If you are thinking about opening up a business in Montana, being familiar with the state's economic trends can help you determine if it's a good location for you. It's also wise to know what type of insurance you'll need to invest in so that you can plan ahead.
With that said, below, we provide an overview of the economic trends in the state of Montana, as well as the commercial insurance requirements for business owners in the Treasure State.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Montana
As of December, 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in the state of Montana was 3.4%; that's 0.1% lower than the national average, which was 3.5% at the same time. This rate remained steady throughout the entire 2019 fiscal year, and it is expected to either continue remaining steady or improve in coming years, according to economists.
Unemployment rate is a vital statistic for business owners, as it indicates the job market of a location, which is a strong determining factor in the success of businesses in the region.
There are several areas throughout the state of Montana that are seeing economic booms and where businesses are flourishing. Among those locations include the following cities and the areas that surround them:
- Great Falls
Several industries are seeing substantial growth in MT; however, there are particular sectors that are really thriving in Montana. Among those sectors include:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Hospitality and tourism
- Information technology
- Oil and gas production
- Retail development
If you are considering opening a business in any of the above-mentioned areas, your chances of success in Montana are favorable.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Montana
The Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance regulates insurance in MT. Montana mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Montana 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 or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Montana 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
- 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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