Whether your specialty is cakes, kebabs, pizza or coffee, takeaway businesses faces certain risks. Having the right insurance in place can help you stay focused on taking care of customers and building your business—and protect against financial disaster if a customer gets food poisoning, your shop has a fire, an employee is injured and more. Here's what you need to know about takeaway insurance to protect you and your business.
- What kind of insurance does a takeaway business need?
- How much is insurance for a takeaway 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.
1. 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.
- Bodily Injury Example: A member of the public falls ill after eating your food and blames you for food poisoning.
- 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.
2. 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.
3. Equipment Cover can protect against accidental damage, loss or theft of valuable takeaway equipment, such as food graters, chippers or ovens. Takeaway equipment can cost thousands of pounds, and being without can also mean you can't produce food to sell. Equipment cover can protect your equipment at home, or in transit or at a venue if you have a mobile takeaway.
4. 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.
In addition, a takeaway might need commercial vehicle insurance, commercial property insurance, contents cover, 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 online 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 Insurance||Average|
|£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.
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)