Do You Know the Recipe for Food Industry Risk Management?

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April 06, 2017

Risk – it’s an inherent part of life for any business owner, and globalization, technology, and other advancements of our modern world have only added to that risk.

If you’re in the food business, you know how diverse and complex the risks can be:

  • Disruptions in your supply chain
  • Failure of key equipment
  • Workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims
  • Food contamination, spoilage, and recalls
  • More aggressive court rulings and government regulations for foodborne illness outbreaks
  • Reputational damage
  • Cyber attacks

Whether you’re a food manufacturer, grower, packer, distributor, or operator of a restaurant, bar, mobile food truck, or catering business, you need serious financial protection for these diverse risks. In fact, the right business insurance is one of the key elements in your risk management strategy and your business continuity plan.

But with such complex risks, getting the right mix of insurance coverage can be complex too. It starts by understanding the types of insurance coverage you’ll likely need for your business – the key ingredients of financial protection:

  • Auto. If you own and operate company vehicles as part of your food business, you’re exposed to liabilities every day, and you need commercial auto coverage. If you rent vehicles for business use or have employees who use personal vehicles for business use, Hired and Non-Owned Auto coverage will protect you from liability for accidents that happen in those vehicles while performing business functions.
  • Business interruption. If a supply chain disruption, natural disaster, or other event shuts you down temporarily, it could be a financial disaster if you’re not protected with BI insurance, which covers lost business income and extra expenses during the shutdown.
  • Cyber. Technology has been a boon for the food industry, but every link in the chain is vulnerable to cyber-crimes. A robust, custom tailored cyber policy can help you avoid financial ruin if you become a victim.
  • Food spoilage. If you suffer a power outage or receive bad food from a supplier, it could be financially devastating. Food spoilage insurance can cover you for liability, replacing damaged food, and lost revenue.
  • General liability. Standard for any business and the prime safety net against the unpredictable, GL covers you if someone should sue your business for bodily injury sustained on your property, damage to or loss of property, physical harm from your products, libel, or slander.
  • Liquor liability. If your business sells, serves, or furnishes alcohol, you’re taking on a huge liability exposure. If a customer you served drinks to all night drives drunk and kills a pedestrian, the pedestrian's family can sue your business for negligence – and damages for such lawsuits can easily run into the millions. Liquor liability can cover your legal defense fees and court-ordered compensation if you're found liable.
  • Property. Another staple, you need commercial property coverage to protect your building and assets from loss due to fire, windstorms, theft, vandalism, and power outages.
  • Umbrella / Excess Liability. With liabilities and lawsuits constantly on the rise, it never hurts to have extra protection. For a modest premium, Umbrella / Excess Liability insurance can extend the liability limits of your GL, auto, and employer’s liability insurance.
  • Workers' compensation. If you have employees, you need workers' compensation insurance in most states to pay for injured workers’ medical expenses and wages, and to cover your legal costs if you’re sued by an employee.

Make sure your risk management strategy includes robust insurance protection. At Heffernan Insurance, we have a team that specializes in business insurance for the food industry, so we’ve got the perfect solution to keep your business protected, no matter the threat.