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The 7 Types of Small Business Insurance Wineries and Craft Breweries Need

red wine glass and beer glass on a table
Wineries and craft breweries face insurance needs unique to the business.

Every business owner needs business insurance to help manage risk. If you are starting or currently own a small business in the craft beer or wine industry and wondering what insurance you need, let the guide below help you determine which policies you should be considering your business.

Your insurance needs will depend on your type of business, your operations, the business property you own and your employee structure. Be sure to consult your commercial insurance specialist to help you assess your individual risks and ultimately determine the best policies and risk management strategies for your business.


General Liability Insurance

Every business owner needs general liability insurance. This policy provides protection against common customer or client incidents. The average customer injury or property damage claim is $30,000 and can lead to expensive legal bills, making this one of the most important policies for any business.

What’s your risk? Claims of bodily injury, property damage and advertising injury by customers, delivery people and other non-employees.
Example: A server breaks a glass and injures a customer, causing a severe cut to the customer’s arm and related medical expenses for treatment.
What insurance covers? Medical costs, lawyer’s fees, court costs, settlements, judgments


Liquor Liability Insurance

Liquor liability insurance protects businesses that manufacture, serve or sell alcohol and is an important coverage for craft breweries and wineries that serve the public on-promise and off-premise at tastings or events.

What’s your risk? Claims of bodily injury and property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor at your business or by an employee.
Example: A customer is over-served in your tasting room, drives intoxicated, and is injured and injures others in a crash.
What insurance covers? Legal fees, settlements and medical costs associated with bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person, who was served or sold liquor by the policyholder.


Commercial Property Insurance

In case of theft or disaster, commercial property insurance is an important coverage for breweries and wineries to help replace or repair equipment or repair property that are needed for the business.

What’s your risk? Damage or loss of property due to fire, theft or natural disaster.
Example: Your building burns, and the structure and all the equipment inside is damaged.
What insurance covers? Repair and/or replacement of covered business assets.


Equipment Breakdown Insurance

As a craft brewery or winery, your equipment is vital to your production. Equipment breakdown insurance can help you cover the cost to repair or replace damaged equipment.

What’s your risk? An equipment breakdown causes you to shut down production and is extremely costly to repair.
Example: A pressurized tank exceeds its psi level due to employee error and breaks down. The repair requires parts and labor expenses including travel costs for the manufacturer to repair.
What insurance covers? The cost to repair or replace damaged equipment including time and labor, lost income, spoiled inventory, necessary expenses incurred during the repair/replacement period.


Commercial Auto Insurance

If your business owns or leases a vehicle, most states require you to carry commercial auto insurance. If you have a delivery truck or other company vehicle, commercial auto insurance is a must.

What’s your risk? Drivers, property owners or other third parties who incur injury or property damage involving a business vehicle.
Example: You are driving to a tasting and are involved in a crash causing damage to your truck and another vehicle.
What insurance covers? Auto accident liability, medical payments, physical damage and collision, accidents involving uninsured motorists


Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you have employees, most states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance. As soon as you hire your first employee, you will need a workers’ compensation policy in place to pay for your employees’ medical expenses and lost wages related to workplace injuries.

What’s your risk? Current employees experiencing on-the-job injuries, illnesses or even death.
Example: Your employees burns themselves on a thermal pipe, incurring medical expenses and lost wages.
What insurance covers? Medical bills, missed wages, death benefits


Employment Practices Liability Insurance

If you have employees, employment practices insurance can protect your small business when a worker sues over employment-related issues.

What’s your risk? Claims by current, former or potential employees for civil rights or fair work-environment violations, such as harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination or demotion, and breach of contract.
Example: An employee claims they were discriminated against by a manager and sues.
What insurance covers? Lawyer’s fees, court costs, settlements, judgments



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This content is for informational purposes only.  Consult your actual insurance policy for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, and exclusions.

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