Insurance for Food Trucks – Food for Thought

May 9, 2016

“I’m thinking about opening a food truck.” If that’s you, read on my friend.

If you’re a true foodie then you’re probably aware of the food truck sensation that is sweeping through Florida.  Through popular TV shows like Kitchen Nightmares, Bar Rescue, etc, we know that small brick and mortar businesses are vulnerable.  If you’re reading this, you’ve probably dreamed about the freedom of being your own boss and carving out a little space in your city for you and your dreams.  Of course, high start up and operating costs can make your dreams of opening a small restaurant seem unrealistic.  Enter the Food Truck.

Food trucks generally have lower operating costs, you don’t need to hire as much staff and no need to invest in costly furniture, decorations (good luck creating ambiance on a budget), and of course, no rent.  Foodies know to expect a limited menu, which can also translate into a less expansive inventory and even less spoilage if you plan accordingly; it’s easy to see why food trucks have become so popular.

As one of the  first insurance agencies in Florida to specialize in food truck insurance, we have seen it all.  We’ve seen people drop upwards of $80,000 on their truck or trailer and then when they call us to get their new business insured, the well has started to run dry.  The part that surprises most people is that your insurance on a food truck is different than it would be if you were in a traditional restaurant.  Why? It’s not the food part, it’s the truck.

That’s right! You need commercial auto insurance! Even on your truck that you’re using to pull your trailer.  If someone tells you differently, run away from them.  Seriously.  Do it. We’ve all heard that story about your friends’ cousin who got into a huge accident and after years of paying for insurance, the company didn’t pay out.  Swap out some of the details and you’ve heard this story.  You know what I’m talking about.

The truth is that while yes, not all insurance companies are created equally, the blame may lie on you or a shady agency.  At Fairchild, Addison & McKone, our top priority is always to make sure that you are properly protected.  Because that’s what insurance is – protection. Honestly, the sooner you start thinking of it that way, instead of some state mandated way to steal your money, the better off you’ll be. I cannot tell you how many times we have had people call in to get food truck insurance for their trailer and not the vehicle pulling it. Guess what, if you’re not insuring your vehicles correctly, you just gave the insurance company a reason to not pay out. If you are using a vehicle as part of your business, you need commercial auto insurance.  Or you can just Russian roulette it. I mean, sure it worked out ok for Christopher Walken in Deer Hunter, but do you really what to risk it?  What is the point of paying for insurance that won’t be there when you need it?

Exactly.

When you start thinking of opening a food truck, one of the expenses is your insurance. The more you spend on your trailer / truck, the higher it will be. So that needs to be part of your budget. In general, a true food truck is less expensive to insure because you’re only using it for business purposes and it’s just the one vehicle versus a pulling unit and a trailer.  Keep in mind that many of your venues may have certain limits that they want you to carry.  Talk to your fellow food truckers to see what limits are standard in your area.  Give us a call today at 813-606-5471 or contact us to get a hassle free quote.

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