Catering Insurance

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Catering Insurance Policy Information

Catering Insurance

Catering Insurance. Caterers prepare food to serve at a customer's location or rented facility for parties, weddings, meetings, receptions, or other events. Food is usually prepared at the caterer's location, then transported to the event. The caterer's own staff generally sets up a buffet line or provides wait service to guests.

Caterers may rent chairs, decorations, dishes, linens, and tables. They may provide alcoholic beverages, served with or without a bartender. They may offer entertainment or music.

Whether you run a small catering operation out of your home kitchen or you run a large organization that caters food for big events, there are a lot of risks associated with owning and operating a catering business. You serve food to the general public which means that you need to make sure that it is 150 percent safe for consumption. You also have to meet the needs of your clients and make sure that the members of your staff are cared for; that's just a small portion of your responsibilities.

You've put a lot of hard work into establishing your catering business and you go above and beyond to make sure that all needs are being met and everything is running smoothly; but mishaps can happen. To protect yourself from the unexpected, it's important that you have the right type of catering insurance in place.

Catering insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.

Below are some answers to commonly asked accounting insurance questions:

How Much Does Catering Insurance Cost?

The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small caterers ranges from $27 to $49 per month based on location, alcohol serving, payroll, sales and experience.

Why Do Caterers Need Insurance?

Caterer Serving Drinks

Working as a caterer can be very rewarding, but it can also be extremely demanding. There's a lot that you need to attend to; the food you offer has to be safely prepared and made to the specifications of your clients, you have to provide a safe environment for your employees to work in, you make deliveries, you take orders, you handle money... that's just a small sampling of your responsibilities.

Even though you try your best to make sure that everything runs smoothly, you've got a lot on your plate, which means that mishaps are bound to arise. A vendor could slip and fall while making a food delivery to your facility; a client file a lawsuit against you, claiming that the food you served was responsible for food poisoning; an employee could cut herself while chopping fruits for a platter.

These are just some of the issues that can arise, and you're legally responsible for all of them. The cost of injuries, medical expenses, repairs, and legal fees and everything else that you could be facing if a travesty occurs can be exorbitant.

Paying for these costs out of your own pocket could put you in financial ruin. That's why it's so important to have the right type of catering insurance in place; it prevents you from having to pay such expenses yourself, which saves you from economic hardship and the potential loss of your livelihood.

What Type Of Insurance Do Caterers Need?

The exact type of catering insurance and the amount of coverage a caterer should carry varies. There are several factors that affect your insurance needs, such as the size of your catering business, what type of clients you serve, how many employees are on-staff, and where your business is located.

While the specificities of insurance do vary from caterer to caterer, there are certain coverages that all catering professionals should have in place, including:

  • Commercial General Liability - This type of insurance protects you against third-party personal injury and property damage claims. For instance, if a client claims that you damaged their kitchen while using it to prepare food for an event that they hired you for, commercial general liability will cover the legal expenses, as well as any damages that the client may be entitled to.
  • Workers Compensation - If you employ a staff, even if it's just one person, you'll need to carry workers' comp insurance. This coverage will help to pay for any medical care that staff members may need if they become injured or ill on the job; it can also cover a portion of the employee's lost wages and litigation, should he or she file a lawsuit against you.
  • Commercial Auto - If use a car, van, truck, or any other vehicle for work-related reasons, you'll also need commercial auto insurance. Should an employee cause an accident while making a food delivery, commercial auto will cover the cost of the damages that were made to the vehicle, building, or any other property that the employee crashed into.

These are just some of the insurance options that catering companies should invest in.

Caterer's Risks & Exposures

Catering Food And Drink

Premises liability exposure at the caterer's own location is minimal as there is little or no public access. The off-premises exposures are at locations generally not familiar to either the caterer or the customer. The caterer should review the area before the event to determine the hazards involved. Servers must be well trained in the handling of hot food.

Seating areas must be reviewed regularly for spills to reduce the exposure to slips and falls. Temperatures of hot beverages must be limited to reduce injuries due to scalding. All employees must be instructed in proper customer handling, including how to deal with disgruntled, intoxicated, or overly enthusiastic customers.

There should be a contract between the caterer and the client to prevent disputes. There must also be a contract between the caterer and the owner of the event facility so that each party's responsibilities are clearly understood.

Products liability exposure is higher than in an on-site eating establishment because of the time delay between food preparation and serving. Illness can result from food poisoning, contamination, and allergic reactions. Maintaining proper temperatures during transport is vital. Monitoring the quality of food received, posting of ingredients, and maintaining proper storage temperature can reduce this exposure. Quality control requires limits on the length of time food may stay in the buffet area.

Liquor liability exposure can be very high in states that hold caterers liable for injuries resulting from alcohol consumption. The type and amount of alcohol served directly impact this exposure. Failure to comply with state and federal regulations can result in the loss of a liquor permit which may adversely impact the business.

Employees who serve alcohol should complete training courses in recognizing intoxication problems and dealing with customers. This can be a particular problem at private parties where there may be an open bar. An agreement must be in place with the contracted party as to how to control this exposure.

Workers compensation exposures come from slips, falls, cuts, puncture wounds, burns, foreign objects in the eye, heavy and awkward lifting, and interactions with customers. Employees should be trained on the carrying of heavy dishes between the kitchen and the serving areas. Food and beverage handling can result in passing bacteria or viruses, resulting in illness. 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 exposures are from electrical wiring, refrigeration units, cooking equipment, and heating and air conditioning systems. All wiring should be current, up to code, and well maintained. While cooking may be limited to ovens, there may be grills and deep fat fryers. These 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 fire spread. Filters should be changed frequently. Spoilage exposure is high as a small fire or a power outage of even moderate duration can cause all fresh and frozen goods to be condemned as unfit for consumption or sale. Business income and extra expenses can be minimized if there is an alternative location to prepare food if there is a loss.

Equipment breakdown exposures are high as operations are dependent on the availability of cooking and refrigeration equipment.

Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and loss of money and securities. Criminal background checks should be conducted on any employee handling money. Cash from bars should be regularly stripped and moved to a safe area. All orders, billing, and disbursements must be handled as separate duties. Regular audits must be conducted.

Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable from billings to customers, a special property floater for food and equipment transported and used off site, and valuable papers and records for customer and supplier information.

Business auto exposure is moderate due to the food being transported from the caterer's premises to the event location. While it is important to transport the food in a timely manner, there must be sufficient time provided for its safe transport. All drivers must have an appropriate license for the vehicle being driven and acceptable MVR. Company vehicles should be used for all deliveries.

These must be maintained with records maintained at a central location. If employees use their own vehicles, the vehicles should be checked for maintenance and upkeep. Because most personal auto policies do not provide coverage when the vehicle is used for commercial purposes, requiring proof of insurance will be of little assistance.

Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification

  • SIC CODE: 5812 Eating Places
  • NAICS CODE: 722320 Caterers, 722310 Food Service Contractors
  • Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s): 11039
  • Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 9082

Description for 5812: Eating Place

Division G: Retail Trade | Major Group 58: Eating And Drinking Places | Industry Group 581: Eating And Drinking Places

5812 Eating Places: Establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of prepared food and drinks for on-premise or immediate consumption. Caterers and industrial and institutional food service establishments are also included in this industry.

  • Automats (eating places)
  • Beaneries
  • Box lunch stands
  • Buffets (eating places)
  • Cafes
  • Cafeterias
  • Carry-out restaurants
  • Caterers
  • Coffee shops
  • Commissary restaurants
  • Concession stands, prepared food (e.g., in airports and sports arenas)
  • Contract feeding
  • Dairy bars
  • Diners (eating places)
  • Dining rooms
  • Dinner theaters
  • Drive-in restaurants
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Food bars
  • Food service, institutional
  • Frozen custard stands
  • Grills (eating places)
  • Hamburger stands
  • Hot dog (frankfurter) stands
  • Ice cream stands
  • Industrial feeding
  • Lunch bars
  • Lunch counters
  • Luncheonettes
  • Lunchrooms
  • Oyster bars
  • Pizza parlors
  • Pizzerias
  • Refreshment stands
  • Restaurants
  • Restaurants, carry-out
  • Restaurants, fast food
  • Sandwich bars or shops
  • Snack shops
  • Soda fountains
  • Soft drink stands
  • Submarine sandwich shops
  • Tea rooms
  • Theaters, dinner

Catering Insurance

To make sure that your business is properly protected, speak to an experienced insurance agent to find out exactly what type of catering insurance coverage you need and how much coverage you should carry.

Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations

Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.

Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.

Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.

Small Business Information

Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.

Small Business Insurance Information

In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.

The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.

Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.

According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.

Types Of Small Business Insurance

Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:

  • What type of business am I running?
  • What are common risks associated with this industry?
  • Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
  • Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
  • Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?

A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:

Business Insurance Policy Type What Is Covered?
General Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.
Product Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.
Commercial Property InsuranceWhat is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.
Commercial Auto InsuranceWhat is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.
Commercial Umbrella PoliciesWhat is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.
Liquor Liability InsuranceWhat is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.
Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.
Surety BondWhat is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).


Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.

Business Insurance Required by Law

If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.

Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.

Other Types Of Small Business Insurance

There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Commercial Flood Insurance
  • Contractor's Insurance
  • Cyber Liability
  • Data Breach
  • Directors and Officers
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Environmental or Pollution Liability
  • Management Liability
  • Sexual Misconduct Liability

Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.

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.


Food And Drink Insurance

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.


Catering Insurance
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