What Takeaway Insurance Do I Need?

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Whether your specialty is cakes, kebabs, pizza or coffee, owning a takeaway business can be risky. For example, you could be sued if a customer gets food poisoning or a delivery driver is injured, or your shop could be damaged in a fire. Having the right takeaway business insurance in place can help you avert financial disaster. Here's what you need to know about takeaway insurance to protect you and your business.

What Kind of Insurance Does a Takeaway Need?

While insurance needs vary from business to business, here are some of the more common types of insurance coverages that a takeaway might need—including some examples to show you how insurance can help you avert financial disaster.

Commercial Property

Restaurants owning their premises will want commercial property buildings insurance to protect against damage or loss from perils like fire, flood and damage from theft.

A good policy can even provide emergency helplines to assist if you have a tax or legal matter or, say, if your glass storefront is shattered.

  • Restaurant Building Insurance Example: A fire in the kitchen guts your building. Major repair work is required to . You claim on your contents and stock insurance to reimburse you for the loss so you can rebuild your business.

Contents, Equipment and Stock Cover

Contents insurance can provide financial protection against accidental damage, loss or theft of valuable food prep equipment (e.g., food graters, chippers or ovens), furniture, till systems, furnishings, and other contents of your takeaway business. These items can be very expensive to replace, and your business can't operate without them. Whether you rent your takeaway premises or own them, contents and stock cover is critical to consider.

Be sure to read the fine print regarding frozen food, because it might not be covered.

As part of contents insurance, stock cover affords financial protection if the stock you hold is lost, stolen or damaged. However, frozen food is typically not covered (nor is a general deterioration in stock) although you may be able to pay an extra premium for frozen food cover if you need it.

  • Takeaway Contents and Stock Insurance Example: A fire results in the loss of your tills, counter area, kitchen equipment and stock. Contents insurance covers these losses, subject to excess, limits, etc.

Equipment cover can protect your equipment at home, in transit and/or at a venue if you have a mobile takeaway. However, you may need to pay extra for cover in transit or at places other than your normal place of business.

Takeaway Public and Product Liability Insurance

Public Liability insurance protects you financially if you accidentally injure a member of the public or damage their property. With respect to public liability claims, insurance primarily covers two costs: legal expenses and compensation claims. Public liability insurance is frequently available with £1 million, £2 million, £5 million and £10 million of cover. Product liability, which protects you if you sell a product that injures someone, is often wrapped up together with public liability cover.

  • Product Liability Bodily Injury Example: A member of the public falls ill after eating your food and blames you for food poisoning.
  • Public Liability Property Damage Example: There's a fire in your takeaway shop that damages the business next door to you. That business sues you for damages.

Employers' Liability Insurance

Employers' Liability insurance is required by law for anyone working for you (with a few exceptions). It protects against compensation claims by current or former employees if they fall ill or are injured because of work for you.

  • Employers' Liability Example: An employee gets a severe burn at work, and they blame you and sue you for negligence. Also, the NHS could claim for the cost to treat your employee and even ambulance call out charges.

Personal Accident Insurance

Personal Accident insurance can provide a financial benefit if you or an employee has an accidental injury and is unable to work—either temporarily (e.g., broken hip) or permanently (e.g., loss of a limb). Benefits can be in the form of a weekly or in a lump sum, depending on the seriousness of the injury. Death can even be covered.

  • Personal Accident Example: If an employee injures their back when they slip and fall on some spilled oil at work, personal accident insurance can pay them a weekly amount as a benefit while they're off work due to the injury.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Commercial Vehicle will be necessary for any company-owned mopeds or other vehicles used, for instance, for deliveries. Specifically, courier insurance is needed for vehicles used to deliver food to customers.

In addition, a takeaway might need business interruption insurance or other business insurance coverages. If your business is mobile and you sell your food at events and fairs, you may need special market trader insurance.

How do I Find the Best Takeaway Insurance for Me?

When choosing a takeaway insurance policy, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Look for customisable cover: Make sure you can get the specific cover that you need for your situation (e.g., public liability, employers' liability, equipment, etc.).
  • Check the financial strength of the insurance underwriter: Insurance only works if the underwriter stays in business and can pay out on any valid claims. Check the health of your underwriter by looking at Fitch, Standard & Poor's, A.M. Best and Lloyd's.
  • Read customer reviews: Online customer reviews can tell you what it's like to be a customer—check Trustpilot and reviews.io.
  • Check prices in the marketplace: Since insurance quotes can really vary from company to company, compare the market with multiple sources (e.g., use a comparison site).

How Much is Public Liability Insurance for a Takeaway?

The average cost of public liability insurance for a takeaway starts from around £166 for a simple £2m public liability policy for a self-employed sole trader, but costs can quickly rise 10X or more. You can pay more for higher levels of cover, different business structures and even depending on where you live.

Unique risks like having a large deep fat fryer can also add to your business insurance costs, as will having employees. Employers' liability insurance is required by law—and takeaways can pay significantly more for employers' liability than the average cost of employers' liability insurance, due to higher risks.

Average Cost of Takeaway InsuranceAverage
£2m of public and product liability (no employees)£561
Public Liability + employers' liability£978
Public Liability + employers' liability + a large deep fat fryer£1,203

Of course, these are just sample quotes to give you a general idea of prices; your premiums might vary significantly depending on your situation and the details of your application.

FAQs

Public liability insurance is essential to have whenever you're dealing with members of the public—such as running a takeaway business. It may also be required by your premises or any venues your work from.
The cost of liability and contents takeaway insurance starts from as little as £166 for a sole trader (e.g., if you're self employed and run a small stall), but can easily rise to £1,000 or more if you have any employees. Prices vary depending on where you live, your business structure, the amount and types of cover you need, etc.
A takeaway needs insurance to protect financially against situations like injury to a member of the public (see public liability insurance); damage to their equipment or premises; injury to an employee (see employers' liability insurance); etc.
If you need takeaway insurance, it's a good idea to check more than one insurer because prices can really vary from company to company. Comparison sites can be useful in this regard to get a quick check of the market.

Takeaway Statistics

According to our analysis of ONS data on British household food budgets, the average household spends £10.20 a week on takeaway meals and snacks—that's a total of £530 a year!

  • Percentage of takeaway owners that are first-time entrepreneurs: 40%
  • Number of Takeaway businesses in the UK: 54,560
  • Number of people employed by takeaways: 406,723 (Ibis) or 286,798 (British Takeaway Campaign)
  • Estimated UK takeaway market size: £21.7 billion by 2021
  • Average household spending on takeaway meals: £5.10 per week (£265 per year)
  • Average household spending on takeaway snacks: £5.10 per week (£265 per year)
  • Total takeaway spending per household: £10.20 per week (£530 per year)

Sources

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