A meat market is a store or deli primarily engaged in selling fresh, frozen, or cured meats or poultry, not for consumption on the premises.
Meat markets are often small family businesses that face a variety of unique business risks. In addition to risks that are similar to any retail establishment, meat markets have some increased risk related to storing, handling, and selling food.
You can find the best way to insure your meat market with a comprehensive set of business insurance policies that are tailored to your unique risks. Talk to a local independent insurance agent who can help you find multiple quotes for coverage.
Why Do You Need Meat Market Insurance?
What if a customer gets sick from eating tainted or contaminated meat from your shop?
What if a customer slips on a wet floor in your store, and falls and breaks an ankle?
What if you had a fire on your premises that destroyed all of your inventory, shelves, fixtures, computers, equipment, and cash registers?
What if your refrigeration equipment or an essential freezer breaks down, spoiling your entire meat inventory?
Like any small business owner, you need business insurance to protect your investment when the unexpected happens. You need protection when you sustain a property loss after a fire, a severe storm, or a break-in. And you need additional protection in the event that someone is injured on your premises or as a result of consuming food purchased at your meat market.
Here are just a few things that can go wrong that should be addressed with meat market insurance:
- A customer or supplier slips and falls in your shop
- A customer becomes ill after eating tainted or contaminated food
- Guests in your shop damage furniture, bathrooms, display cases, or equipment
- Inventory is contaminated or spoiled and must be destroyed
- Employee injuries
- Fire, extreme weather, or a natural disaster
- Theft or vandalism by customers or employees
What Does Property Insurance cover?
Your physical assets are the first things you need to protect with meat market insurance. There are several types of business insurance policies that cover your commercial property.
Commercial property insurance covers your building (if you own it), as well as its contents including all of your furniture, computers, office furniture and supplies, inventory, paper products, and indoor signage. It responds when there is a fire, storm, theft, or vandalism in your meat market and your commercial property is damaged or destroyed as a result.
Business interruption insurance is also essential to helping you weather any property loss. It provides income replacement if you must temporarily close to make repairs to your market (e.g., repair a storm-damaged roof) after a covered loss. You’ll be able to pay for rent, employee salaries, and utility bills while your revenue is limited so you don’t have to close your doors for good.
Equipment breakdown coverage (often called boiler and machinery coverage) is one of the most important types of insurance to consider for your meat market. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing machinery or equipment used in your meat market including grinding machines, electric saws, freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and furnaces.
What Does Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability insurance is your next line of defense in protecting your meat market from costly problems. It protects your business when you are considered to be negligent or blamed for causing harm to an individual or another business.
Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance protects your business from claims that occur while customers are on your premises. It also covers bodily injury and property damage to others due to negligence by you or an employee.
There are two types of basic coverage included in a CGL policy:
- Premises liability coverage pays for damages and legal expenses if a customer or some other visitor in your meat market is injured or experiences some type of property damage.
- Product liability coverage protects you if the products that you sell in your store cause an illness or an injury. Imagine the consequences if meat sold in your store were the source of an E. coli outbreak, or if a foreign substance (metal, plastic) is found in meat ground and sold at your store. Your product liability coverage pays for damage to the injured party(s) as well as your legal costs if you are sued.
General liability insurance also provides coverage for advertising liability, slander, and libel claims against your meat market.
What is Contamination and Spoilage Coverage?
Food spoilage and contamination is likely one of your biggest concerns as a meat market owner. Any business that is responsible for an outbreak of foodborne illnesses can face devastating costs and can quickly be forced to shut down.
Food spoilage and contamination can happen in a variety of ways, even if you operate a very clean shop and take food safety very seriously. Your refrigerator can break down causing everything inside to become spoiled and ruined. You can unknowingly receive tainted food from an outside source and sell it to your customers.
Contamination and spoilage coverage pays for certain losses if food products are spoiled or contaminated due to refrigeration breakdown, utility interruption, or some other type of foreign substance contamination.
If your local board of health or other agency forced you to close because of food contamination, your contamination and spoilage insurance may cover you for lost income during the shutdown period as well as costs related to cleaning contaminated equipment and disposing of and replacing spoiled food.
Keep in mind that your contamination and spoilage insurance does not cover liability claims related to any illnesses or injuries caused by spoiled or contaminated food. If you are sued after someone becomes ill, the product liability portion of your general liability policy responds and pays for medical expenses, attorney fees, and any financial settlements that you’re required to pay to the injured party.
An independent insurance agent might suggest that you purchase extended product liability protection beyond what is offered in your general liability policy.
Other Insurance Policies for Your Meat Market
You'll likely need several other insurance policies to protect you from financial harm and unexpected events. Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for the following.
- Commercial auto insurance provides auto liability insurance (pays for injuries and vehicle damage for others if one of your drivers causes an accident) for your business-owned vehicles. It also provides comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and other optional coverage that helps you pay for damage to your own vehicle fleet.
- Workers’ compensation insurance is required for any business that has employees. It protects your workers (including butchers, cashiers, and managers) from the costs of work-related injuries and illnesses. Many of your employees use dangerous tools and equipment (knives, grinding machines, slicers) that pose a significant risk for accidents and injuries. If one of your employees is injured, workers’ compensation insurance covers medical bills and lost wages related to the injury.
- Cyber liability insurance protects your meat market 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.
- Employment practices liability coverage protects you if a current or former employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
- Crime coverage protects your store if an employee or a group of employees engage in theft, forgery, or fraud that damages your business. It also offers coverage in cases of shoplifting and vandalism.
- Sign coverage pays for damage to outdoor signs that are not attached to your building that is caused by vandalism, theft, weather, or accidents.
- Utility interruption coverage provides income protection if you are unable to operate due to a covered utility (water, electrical) interruption.
- Commercial umbrella insurance adds an extra layer of protection with liability coverage above and beyond the limits of your CGL and certain other liability policies. It kicks in when the limits of your other applicable policies have been exhausted. If a customer or another third party sues you, this coverage can be the difference between financial devastation and complete recovery.
- Flood insurance and earthquake insurance may be necessary if your shop is in an area that is prone to these natural disasters. Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for this type of coverage.
How Much Does Meat Market Insurance Cost?
The cost of meat market insurance depends on the policies you choose, the unique risks your business faces, the value of your inventory and equipment, and other factors like your location, number of employees, and the size of your establishment.
Some small business owners can get the best rates by purchasing a business owners policy (BOP), which combines commercial liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and business interruption coverage into one affordable and efficient package policy. Other coverage can be added on to complete your comprehensive business insurance program.
An independent agent can work with you one-on-one to determine the types and amounts of coverage you need. Your agent can get quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can evaluate the cost and coverage options and make the best choice.
Benefits of an Independent Agent
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right meat market insurance. They’ll walk you through the handpicked policy options and explain the details.
Most importantly, they’ll be there for you when claim time comes. They know the ins and outs of the process and will make sure your claim is handled appropriately.
The Lowdown on Online Quotes
Online quotes can be tempting. They are fast and easy to get — but are they accurate? And are you getting quotes for the right coverage? For business owners, choosing speed over accuracy can cost you.
Online quotes can’t and don’t see the whole picture. They can omit important coverage that will leave you devastated if something unexpected happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities that an agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent now, and get one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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