Brewery Insurance

Are You Leaving Your Brewery Exposed to Risk?

The number of microbreweries, craft breweries and brewpubs in the U.S. has exploded in the last decade. Beer drinkers now have more choices than ever and can likely find the perfect brew to go with any meal or event. Today there are over 2,300 breweries or brewpubs in operation in the U.S., and each one is unique. Brewery owners must protect their investment in the business they love with comprehensive brewery insurance.

Manufacturing and Hospitality Risks

Breweries face risks related to the manufacture of beer, as well as additional risks, if they serve food and alcohol to the public or offer brewery tours and other on-site events. The specifics of your brewery insurance plan depends on the type of brewery you operate (large brewery, microbrewery, craft brewery, etc.) and whether you offer a tasting room, restaurant, pub or other on-site operations.

As a proud manufacturer of stouts, lagers and ales, you unfortunately must also prepare your business for unexpected events that can damage property, suspend production, injure customers or employees, and cause serious financial distress. Consider the following:

  • A batch of brew is contaminated or spoiled and must be destroyed or removed from the marketplace.
  • A customer is involved in an alcohol-related car accident after leaving your tasting room or brewpub.
  • Vital equipment or machinery unexpectedly breaks down, leading to property damage, loss of inventory or product and extended downtime.
  • A customer, vendor or delivery person slips, trips or falls on your premises.
  • Guests on your premises damage equipment or other business property.
  • Unfinished or completed beer leaks or spills from a storage tank.
  • Weather events, fire, theft or vandalism damages or destroys your building(s) and the contents therein.
  • Beer in storage or in transit is damaged or destroyed.

Brewery Insurance Policies to Consider

Breweries face risks from both manufacturing and hospitality operations. You may need numerous brewery insurance policies and endorsements to properly cover your business and protect your livelihood. With the help of a Trusted Choice® agent, you can determine which types of coverage you need and which ones you don’t.

  • Business property coverage protects your building(s) and contents from damage due to fire, weather events, theft, vandalism and other causes of loss. You need coverage for brewing equipment and machinery, inventory, beer stock, furniture, fixtures, computers and any other business property on your premises.
  • Your business property policy should also include coverage for business interruption, which pays for ongoing expenses, lost income and relocation costs if you cannot operate or you must relocate due to a covered loss.

You may need a variety of additional brewers insurance policies or microbrewery insurance. Talk to your Trusted Choice insurance agent about endorsements specifically designed for breweries.

  • Tank collapse coverage pays for expenses related to processing water after a tank collapse.
  • Tank leakage coverage provides protection for leakage of completed or in-process beer from a tank or other container (covers the lost beer stock). Damage to the container or other damaged property is covered under the main property policy.
  • Restaurant property coverage provides protection for restaurant equipment if you are a brewpub that operates a restaurant in conjunction with your brewery.

You also likely need coverage for beer that is in storage or in transit; your business property policy does not cover completed beer once it leaves your premises. Your insurance agent can help you find specialty beer storage policies if you store finished product off-site at a third-party establishment. Inland marine insurance protects you against physical loss or damage to beer that is in transit.

General liability insurance provides broad coverage for third-party bodily injury and property damage claims. If a guest slips and falls during a brewery tour or your beer causes someone to become ill, your general liability policy pays for direct costs (medical expenses, etc.) as well as attorney fees, court costs, and any court-ordered settlements or judgments. A general liability policy also provides coverage for claims related to product liability, advertising liability, slander and libel.

Equipment breakdown coverage, or boiler and machinery coverage, is essential for a brewery. Brewing machinery is very expensive, and if it breaks, it can take months to repair or replace. Could you continue to operate while you waited for replacement machinery? Equipment breakdown coverage pays for costs associated with sudden and accidental breakdown of machinery and equipment. It covers the costs to repair or replace the equipment and any other property that is damaged by the broken equipment, and it reimburses you for related business interruption costs.

Contamination and spoilage coverage pays for certain losses if beer stock is spoiled or contaminated due to refrigeration problems, utility interruptions or some other type of foreign substance. Liquor liability coverage is required for any establishment that sells, services or furnishes alcoholic beverages. It pays for instances of property damage and bodily injury that results from selling or serving alcohol even if the impaired person did not drink the beverage on your premises.

Where Else Do You Have Exposures?

While we’ve addressed many of the exposures in your brewery business, there may be more. Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for these additional policies or endorsements.

  • Commercial auto insurance protects your fleet of trucks and any other vehicles owned by your brewery. In addition, if employees drive personal vehicles for business use, you need hired and nonowned auto liability insurance.
  • Crime coverage protects your business if an employee or a group of employees engages in theft, forgery or fraud that damages your business.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance is required for any business that has employees. It protects your brewery workers from the cost of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • Cyber liability insurance protects your brewery if you are the victim of a cyber breach. If your computer network or website is hacked and confidential customer or vendor information is exposed, the damage to your reputation and bottom line can be insurmountable.
  • Product recall coverage helps pay for costs related to removing recalled, damaged or dangerous products from the marketplace.

Where to Find Brewery Insurance

Whether you are a large brewery or a small brewpub, you need tailored brewery insurance to protect you from the unique exposures inherent in your business. By working with an independent insurance agent, you can obtain quotes from numerous reputable insurance companies that specialize in your line of work. You don’t have to spend time chasing down quotes on your own — your agent can function as a trusted adviser who can help you find the right mix of coverage for your needs and budget. Contact an agent today.

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