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Food and drink industry insurance

Join over 800,000 UK customers who’ve chosen to insure with us. Compare small food business insurance from trusted brands.

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Why is professional food insurance important?

Whether it’s an allergic reaction or a slip in your kitchen, accidents happen to the most experienced food professionals. Claims for food liability can cost thousands, so a food insurance policy usually provides flexible cover for public and product liability, alongside employers’ liability, buildings, contents, and stock cover, for claims which could put the brakes on your business.

  • food business insurance, UK customer service and claims team
  • trusted by over 800,000 small UK businesses for flexible, tailored cover
  • food product liability insurance between £1 million and £10 million
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What does food liability insurance cover?

We’ll start with food liability insurance, including public and product liability, covering you against accidents caused by your business or claims against your products – for example, if someone suffers an allergic reaction to an ingredient you’ve used. You can also include insurance for employees, stock, and contents, plus personal accident cover for you or anyone else you’ve covered.

Public and product liability insurance for food business

In case your business and products cause an injury or property damage.

What’s typically covered by food product liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • damage to someone’s property, because of your food/drinks business
  • an injury or illness caused by your business activities or products
  • accidental damage or injuries caused by your employees

For example:

  • a customer sues you for serving spoiled food, causing severe food poisoning
  • you accidentally spill a scalding hot drink on a customer’s hand
  • a pedestrian trips over a box of goods you’ve left on the ground next to your delivery van, breaking their wrist

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • road accidents, and claims related to a delivery van or vehicle – these are usually handled as part of your motor insurance policy
  • if you do employ anyone, you’re usually required by law to have employers’ liability insurance too.

Read more about public liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

In case anyone gets ill or injured because of working for you.

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • an injury or illness that happens as a result of working for you (including temps and casual workers)

**Employers’ liability insurance is required by law if you have people working for you. Without it, you could be fined up to £2,500 a day for each employee.**

For example:

  • your employee trips over some steps while loading the company van, breaking their elbow
  • your Christmas temp cuts their hand on a damaged countertop and sues you for operating an unsafe workspace

Contents insurance

In case something happens to your fixtures, fittings, or operational equipment.

What’s typically covered by business and office equipment insurance?

  • accidental damage to your fixtures and fittings, or the equipment you use to run your food and drinks business
  • theft, flood, and fire damage

For example:

  • a customer stumbles into your food display, smashing the glass
  • your new employee breaks the juicer you’ve had just installed – it needs to be completely replaced

Read more about contents insurance

Stock insurance

In case something happens to the items you keep in stock.

What’s typically covered by stock insurance?

  • loss, damage, or theft of things like prepared food items, sellable products, ingredients, and other materials you use to stock your food and drinks business

For example:

  • your fresh meat and vegetables go off due to a fault with your fridge, and need to be replaced
  • a burst pipe in your kitchen destroys ingredients kept in the storage room
  • a large food order gets damaged while in transit to your client’s wedding venue

Read more about stock insurance

Legal expenses insurance

In case you’re hit with legal expenses connected to your food business.

What’s typically covered by legal expenses insurance?

  • legal costs attributed to your food and drinks business
  • property damage, nuisance, or trespass – specifically, the associated legal claims and compensation payouts
  • tax and compliance disputes and investigations you need help with
  • includes a tax advice helpline, a 24/7 confidential legal helpline, and crisis PR support to help you protect your reputation as a popular food and drinks business

For example:

  • HMRC selects your business for a randomised tax investigation, and you incur costs in the process which need to be recovered
  • a client disputes their contract with you after you provide catering for their wedding, stating you haven’t fulfilled your obligations – you need to pay for legal representation

Read more about legal expenses insurance

Personal accident insurance

In case anyone you’ve covered is accidentally injured, at work or off-duty.

What’s typically covered by personal accident insurance?

  • accidental injury or death at work or elsewhere, for anyone covered on the policy
  • lost income, medical costs, and hospitalisation benefit

For example:

  • you burn your hand on hot oil from the deep fat fryer, and can’t work for at least two weeks
  • your employee, who you’ve covered on the personal accident policy, breaks their leg while playing football, and can’t carry out manual tasks for a few months

Read more about personal accident insurance

Building insurance

In case something happens to your business premises.

What’s typically covered by building insurance?

  • the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your building (or rebuilding it from scratch)
  • damage to fixtures and fittings
  • damage to underground pipes and cables you’re responsible for

For example:

  • your building needs to be completely rebuilt, following a fire caused by a deep fat fryer
  • a flood on your ground floor and basement destroys your floorboards and internal doors

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • tenants’ improvements – changes to the property’s structure which you’ve organised and paid for yourself, like partition walls or wooden flooring

Read more about buildings insurance

This content has been created for general information purposes. Make sure you have the right level of business insurance by checking your policy documentation for details. Read our full Terms and Conditions

Insurance for selling food – how much does it cost?

Find out how much you’ll pay by comparing prices from a range of trusted insurers. You choose what goes into your policy, so you only pay for what you need.

Prices start from £6.56 per month

Get your quotes in 7 minutes – prices are guaranteed for 30 days.

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How we work out example prices We take the highest price from the bottom 10 per cent of all our customers paying in monthly instalments (based on data from 1 January - 31 August 2021). Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

Example food business insurance quotes, real prices

£34.92 /month

£310.41 /month

Cafe / coffee shop serving food and drink

  • 1-2 years' experience
  • 1 employee
  • Based in Leeds

Public liability

£2,000,000


Employers’ liability

£10,000,000


Stock

Not included

£103.62 /month

£921.03 /month

A small catering company that prepares food for conferences, weddings and large gatherings (inc. mobile van)

  • 5+ years' experience
  • 3 employees
  • Limited company
  • Based in Glasgow

Public liability

£1,000,000


Employers’ liability

£10,000,000


Contents & business equipment

£20,000

How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 27/08/2020). They’re based on a range of factors, like employees and location. Your own quote will be based on what you tell us about your business. Prices may go up or down from day to day, so the prices you’re quoted may differ to the ones you see here.

What kind of excess should I expect?

An excess is an amount you pay towards any claim you make on your insurance. For example, if your excess is £250 and you make a claim worth £1000, your payout will be a maximum of £750.

Insurance coverLowest excessHighest excess
Main building£200£4000
Stock£200£4000
Contents£200£4000
Employers liabilityNo excessNo excess
Public liabilityNo excess£750
Product liabilityNo excessNo excess

The figures above are for guidance only and any excess applying to your quote may differ. You’ll get a breakdown of the excesses for each quote when you compare with us.

How it works

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How do I choose insurance?

Making sure you have the right type and level of business insurance can be the difference between getting a claim paid and having to cover the cost of an expensive accident yourself. Read our tips for guidance on what to consider when buying a policy.

Is public liability enough for third party property damage?

In some situations you may need more than public liability to cover certain kinds of property damage.

Which type of workers do I need insurance for?

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ people.

If you have people working for you, including bona fide subcontractors (BFSC), labour-only subcontractors (LOSC), part-timers, or full-time staff, employers’ liability insurance is required by law.

Read on for our simplified guide to the difference between labour-only subcontractors and bona fide subcontractors.

Does food business insurance cover my work correctly?

Make sure you're picking the right cover to protect you properly. It's important to know that if you have another trade or job, you'll need additional cover. For example, do you need to consider fast food insurance or fish and chip shop insurance?

Do I need cover for other types of work?

If you provide other services, make sure you’re covered:

Other types of insurance

Which public liability cover limit should I choose?

Think about the maximum possible loss your business could face in the event of a claim, and make sure you take legal fees and damages into consideration. You can choose from three levels of coverage – £1 million, £2 million, or up to £5 million.


Talk to an expert

Our team of UK-based insurance experts are here to help, Mon 09.00am - 05.30pm, Tues 09.00am - 05.30pm, Weds 09.00am - 05.30pm, Thurs 09.30am - 05.30pm, Fri 09.00am - 05.30pm, Sat 09.00am - 02.00pm

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Contact us on our website whenever suits you

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FAQs

Find answers to common insurance questions

How do claims work?

Unlike price comparison websites, we take the hassle out of claims for you. We know how important it is to get your business back on track quickly – and with a minimum of fuss. That’s why you get access to your dedicated claims any time, day or night. Call them on 0333 207 0560 or claim online. They’ll do their best to be fair and supportive. The figure below is rounded across our range of products. Our claims process may vary for different products and operates on a ‘claim by claim’ basis.

£28 million in claims paid out in 2021

Paying 80% of settled claims within 24 hours in 2021

Example claim

Having food insurance through Simply Business has saved UK professionals thousands of pounds when the unexpected happened.

Lily saved more than £7,300

A leak in the flat above Lily’s (not her real name) groceries business caused significant water damage over the Christmas holiday week, particularly to her contents and stock which included three months’ worth of sellables for the new year. The contents and stock cover in her food business insurance policy covered Lily’s replacement costs.

Insurance payout

£7,360.00

Covering the cost of escape of water


Lily’s costs

£100

The excess amount stated in Lily’s policy terms

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Insurance for food business FAQs

Whether you’re new to buying business insurance or you’ve been trading for a while, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about food business insurance.You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • Preparing, storing, and selling food and drink carries automatic risk, so insurance is a key consideration for businesses who provide any sort of catering service. From a coffee shop or restaurant to a retail space which also sells pre-packaged snacks and drinks, businesses hit by a food or drink insurance claim can lose thousands – even millions – of pounds.

    The most common type of insurance to cover food and drink risks is public and product liability insurance. We also provide it as ‘food liability insurance’ or ‘food product liability insurance’, and the cover helps protect our food and drink business customers from risks like slips or spills which cause a third party injury or property damage, or an incident of food poisoning or allergic reaction.

  • Public and product liability insurance is often an important cover for catering vans – it’s designed to protect you if someone is injured or gets sick, or their property is damaged, because of your business.

    Do you employ any staff? If so, you’re usually required by law to take out employer’s liability insurance, even if it’s for a contractor team member, or casual and seasonal staff. You’ll face fines of up to £2,500 a day for anyone you haven’t covered correctly.

    From there, you can pick and choose from other specific protection for your food van’s stock and equipment, plus legal expenses for things like employee disputes and personal accident cover for the slip-ups that can delay contracts and orders. Our catering van insurance policies are flexible – you can bundle everything into one policy or go for just one or two covers, depending on what you need.

  • A deep fat fryer is a high-risk piece of kit, so there are lots of safety measures you have to follow when you use one. If you’re claiming for unexpected costs through your insurance and you’re discovered not to have met these conditions, it could invalidate your policy. This means you wouldn’t get a payout.

    To avoid this, you’ll need to check the requirements for the make and model of the fryer you’re planning to use at your restaurant. If you don’t have access to the manual, you can call the manufacturer and ask them for the information.

    The top six criteria you may need to comply with are:

    1. cleaning schedule
    2. service record
    3. safety equipment
    4. volume of use
    5. replacement of oils
    6. contractors who are registered to work on fryers
  • Public and product liability insurance is often an important cover for restaurants – it’s designed to protect you if someone is injured or suffers an illness, or their property is damaged, because of your business.

    Are you hiring staff? If so, you’re usually required by law to take out employer’s liability insurance, even if it’s for a contractor team member, or casual and temporary staff. You’ll face fines of up to £2,500 a day for anyone you haven’t covered correctly.

    From there, you can pick and choose from other specific protection for your restaurant’s stock, equipment, fixtures and fittings, and the building(s) you use. Our restaurant insurance policies are flexible – you can bundle everything into one policy or go for just one or two covers, depending on what you need.

  • This will depend on whether you have employers’ liability insurance in place. Public liability insurance is designed to protect your business against the consequences of legal action brought by members of the public for injuries or damage to their belongings. But when it comes to your employees causing injury or damage, this protection only activates if you also have employers’ liability insurance.

    If you employ people, you’re required by law to have employers’ liability insurance.

    There’s one exception here. Family businesses that aren’t incorporated as a limited company are not legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. The government defines a “family business” as one where all your employees are closely related to you (as a spouse, civil partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, step-parent, stepchild or half-sibling). So if you run an unincorporated family business and you choose not to get employers’ liability insurance, it’s important to know that your public liability insurance wouldn’t cover you against damage or injury caused by your team.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always check policy documentation for details and seek professional advice. Read our full Terms and Conditions

Helpful articles for food businesses

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2 Oct 2019 • 6-minute read

The opening a takeaway guide for new business owners

Food and drink industry insurance

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