What Insurance Coverage Do I Need for My Brewery?

How you protect your brewery business is an important part of getting started. Here are some details about insuring your business and why it’s vital to have the right brewery insurance coverage.

Property and General Liability Coverage. Do you provide tours through your brewery or serve food items for purchase? If you have a craft brewery, your facilities are likely in an industrial-type building where there are chemicals, hot surfaces, and machinery that can contribute to accidents. To cover your business risks, consider these things:

  1. mark the walking paths and tasting/tour areas,
  2. guests should stay several feet away from equipment,
  3. safety glasses should be provided for tours,
  4. closed toe footwear is a smart request, and
  5. use properly-trained employees who conduct the tours.

Equipment Coverage. Equipment is usually one of the largest expenses in running a brewery. If equipment is stolen, most standard policies will cover it. Same with a breakdown, but being without your equipment could slow operations and revenue. Check with your independent insurance agent to be sure you have a well-designed brewery insurance policy that will keep business running.

Mobility. Transporting products, often in rental vehicles is a common practice among breweries, but it can also be an insurance gap. Ask about endorsements that can be added to your business policy to cover this gap.

Special Events. A special events coverage is recommended if you participate in trade shows, festival and such off-premises events.

Liquor Liability. Cover yourself for the risk of intoxicated patrons who can become a safety concern and a liability. Your trained staff should be able to easily identify someone in such a state. Also enforce an ID checking procedure and have an alternative way to see that patrons leave safely in case they cannot drive.

Product Liability. If you’re considering adding food service to your brewery be sure to consider such things as verifying the quality of raw ingredients, ensuring proper storage and temperature control, and smart food safety training for all brewing and kitchen staff.

Food Trucks. Food trucks are a popular trend, but can be a liability when serving patrons on your premises. Be sure the vendors provide certificates of insurance to prove they have a general liability policy including premises, operations, products, and completed operations and auto liability coverage. If they operate on your premises on a regular basis and your brewery provides utilities to them (power, water, waste disposal), you should request to be added to their general liability policy as additional insured. Your general liability insurance will only cover third party damages if those were your brewery’s fault such as a patron tripping and falling on your parking lot.

Insuring your brewery is not difficult if you have the right insurance agent who knows answers to your questions. Have a sit-down with your local independent insurance agent first and you can be confident of your coverage.