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October 2018

Top 10 Insurance Mistakes for Food Trailers and Trucks
By Joel Paprocki for

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Let's run through the most common mistakes mobile food business owners make when they purchase insurance – as well as tips on how to avoid them.

  1. Buying The Lowest Price Policy You Can Find

Choosing low-cost insurance can – ironically – end up costing you a lot of money. Many low-cost policies have a very small list of claims they cover. 

image via william krause

Since insurance companies are continually pressured to lower prices, they're also forced to reduce plan benefits. This hurts the relationship between insured and insurer, especially when claims are filed that aren't covered by the plan. Don't just jump at the lowest price – jump at the plan and agency that fits you best.

  1. Paying Extra For Additional Insurance Certificates

Commissary kitchens, landlords, event managers, and city health departments often require that you present them with additional insurance certificates. 

There’s no reason an insurance agency should surprise you with an additional charge for something as simple as an additional certificate.  

  1. Incorrectly Classifying Your Truck And Property Values

The insurance world considers your food truck or trailer and your other property as two distinct things with two distinct coverages. This means that property coverage doesn’t include your truck/trailer unless specifically stated on your policy.

 Here's what the value of your truck/trailer entails:

  • The value of the truck or trailer on its own
  • The value of "permanently attached equipment" (attached via plumbing or gas)

 Everything else is considered "business property" and needs to be listed separately on the insurance policy.

  1. Covering Your Trailer On Your Personal Auto Insurance

Many people believe their personal auto policy automatically extends coverage to their food truck or trailer. Your business truck/trailer will not be covered by your personal auto insurance.

  1. Accepting A Deductible On Your General Liability Policy

Some agencies sell general liability policies which include a deductible you are responsible to pay before the insurance company starts to pay up on a claim. While this may feel normal since it's the case with health insurance, it's quite problematic when it comes to food truck insurance – and you shouldn't have to put up with it.

With no deductible, you can file the claim then let the insurance work out the legal fees and handle the claim. This way is much simpler, streamlined, and eliminates a handful of extra costs.

  1. Purchasing Insurance Valid Only At A Certain Address

Once again, you'd think that mobile businesses wouldn’t limit their insurance coverage to a single address, but it does happen from time to time.

Your business moves around – and you need a policy that moves around with you. For this reason, be mindful that your insurance agency isn't giving you standard policy that isn't a good fit for your mobile business.

  1. Selecting An Agency That Does Not Process Certificates Same-Day

Need a last-minute certificate of insurance? Many companies refuse to process these on the same day, which can be a major problem for food truck owners who show up to events that require a certificate but didn't tell vendors in advance.  

  1. Buying From An Agency That Doesn't Specialize In Mobile Food Businesses

Here are a few reasons you should strongly consider working with a food truck/food trailer specific insurer:

  • They'll understand your business.
  • You'll have a trusted partner.
  • An agent who knows the mobile food truck business will know the mobile food truck insurance world – which means your policy will be much more fitting than one selected by a non-specialist.
  • New quotes, equipment changes, and service requests will be quicker and easier than if you're working with someone who always has to "check the rules" for every little thing.
  1. Not Reviewing Insurance Requirements For Specific Events

Do yourself a favor and check up on each event’s requirements. Or better yet, send the requirements to your insurance agent to help you review them and advise you on whether or not you need a policy adjustment.

  1. Wasting Time With Agents That Don’t Get Your Business

There's nothing as costly and frustrating as an insurance agent who claims to be your partner but has no idea how your business is structured, what your struggles are, and what kinds of insurance you need. 

Every hour you spend figuring out insurance is time you don't spend focusing on what makes you money and helps your business thrive. Use a trusted advisor who understands you, gets the information and policy you need, and move on to the more important your success!


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