A poultry dealer is a shop or deli primarily engaged in selling fresh, frozen, or cured poultry or other meats, not for consumption on the premises.
Poultry dealers are often small family businesses or farm-based businesses that face a variety of unique business risks. In addition to risks that are similar to any retail establishment, poultry dealers have some increased risk related to storing, handling, and selling food.
As a small business owner, you need to protect your livelihood with a comprehensive set of business insurance policies that are tailored to the unique risks you face.
A local independent insurance agent can help you find the customized, affordable poultry dealer insurance that fits your needs and budget.
Why Do You Need Poultry Dealer Insurance?
Your food inventory, ingredients, and supplies — as well as your store fixtures, shelving, computers, furniture, and more — are valuable. What if a fire, a severe weather event, or a burglary destroyed your store or part of it?
Poultry dealer insurance protects your physical assets when something unexpected happens. You’ll likely face a mountain of repair costs and you might even have to close temporarily while you replace inventory, rebuild your damaged store, or wait for equipment to be fixed.
Another major threat to your poultry store: being sued by a customer or someone else because of a negligent act.
Something as simple as a customer slipping on a wet floor while shopping or picking up an order can quickly spiral out of control. You can always expect to pay the related medical expenses for anyone who is injured in your store. What’s more, simple slip and fall cases often lead to lawsuits, and you’ll need a way to pay for your legal expenses and any payouts to an injured party.
And even worse, poultry dealers need to prepare for the possibility of inadvertently selling spoiled, contaminated, or tainted poultry. What if you sell highly popular chicken breasts that are the source of a foodborne illness? Situations like these can lead to a whole slew of lawsuits, and devastating legal costs that could bankrupt you if you don’t have appropriate insurance coverage.
Poultry dealer insurance helps you in situations like these — and many more — that might otherwise force you out of business.
What Does Poultry Dealer Insurance Cover?
Unexpected events such as fires, natural disasters, floods, and extreme weather events can happen at any time, and they can quickly cause massive damage to your building, your inventory, your fixtures, computers, office files, and more.
Commercial property insurance covers the costs of repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed physical assets. This coverage is essential to securing your ability to operate in the face of disaster.
Business interruption insurance complements your poultry dealer property coverage. It offers income replacement if your business is unable to operate because of damage caused by some type of covered disruption. 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 for any seller of meat or poultry. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing machinery or equipment used in your establishment, including freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces, and point-of-sale equipment.
What Does Poultry Dealer Liability Insurance Cover?
You have visitors to your store or market every day. Anyone can get injured on your premises at any time. Slips, trips, falls, and other types of injuries are common in retail settings.
Medical bills and other related expenses are a lot to cover for a small business. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg if you are sued in such a situation. Attorney fees, court costs, and court-ordered settlements or judgments can easily bankrupt you.
Commercial general Liability (CGL) insurance protects your business when you are considered to be negligent or blamed for causing harm to an individual or another business.
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 store 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 one of your chickens or another poultry product were the source of an E. coli outbreak. If someone files a claim or if you are sued, your product liability coverage pays for damages to the injured party(s) as well as your legal costs.
What About Product Recalls?
Poultry dealers may unfortunately face situations in which products have to be recalled from the market because of some type of contamination that could make people sick.
Some of the most common causes of food contamination and recalls include:
- Biological contaminants (toxins or microorganisms contaminate your product through tainted water used in the manufacturing process, poor worker hygiene or unsanitary food handling, or pest infestations)
- Mislabeling (allergenic ingredients such as tree nuts are not included on a product label, or products that should not contain nuts are cross-contaminated in a shared processing space)
- Foreign items (product contains fragments of metal, glass, plastic, insects, or other pests)
If one of your poultry products is recalled, the costs can disastrous. Product recall costs can include:
- Product removal costs (pulling the product from the marketplace)
- Product storage and disposal costs
- Product replacement costs
- Communications costs, including detailing the recall to the public and government agencies, as well as continued public relations costs
- Investigative costs (determining the source of the contamination)
- Fines, legal fees, settlements and judgments
After the immediate crisis subsides, the costs of a food recall can continue to haunt your business for years in the form of decreased sales and reputational harm.
Product recall insurance can help you with many of these costs, and might even help you avoid bankruptcy or closing your doors. It typically will reimburse a manufacturer for financial losses related to a product recall, including:
- Actual recall costs (product removal and disposal)
- Loss of profit
- Product replacement
- Extra expenses
- Reputation rehabilitation expenses
An independent insurance agent can help you assess your risks and determine if product recall insurance is right for your business.
What is Contamination and Spoilage Coverage?
Food spoilage and contamination is likely one of your biggest concerns as a poultry dealer. 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 serve 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.
Do You Need Any Other Poultry Dealer Insurance?
Most poultry dealers will likely need several other insurance policies to protect themselves from financial harm and unexpected events. Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for the following:
- Commercial auto insurance protects any business-owned vehicles or trucks. In addition, if employees drive personal vehicles for business use, you need hired and non-owned auto liability insurance.
- Crime coverage pays for loss of inventory due to theft of merchandise from shoplifting, and even for loss of money and merchandise stolen by employees.
- Workers’ compensation insurance is required for almost every business that has employees. It compensates employees who are injured on the job by paying for medical expenses and lost wages related to their injury. Your employees can sustain cuts, burns, back strains, and repetitive motion injuries. This coverage ensures that their expenses will be covered in these cases and prevents them from suing you for additional damages.
- Employment practices liability coverage protects you if a current or former employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
- Commercial umbrella insurance provides an important safety net for cases when a claim exceeds the coverage limit on your general liability policy. If you were hit with an extremely costly lawsuit, this policy would kick in when the coverage on your general liability policy is exhausted.
- 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.
- Flood insurance and earthquake insurance may be necessary if your building 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 Poultry Dealer Insurance Cost?
The size of your business and the types of policies you need to cover your unique risks are the biggest predictors of how much your business insurance will cost. A variety of variables that are unique to your business help determine how risky you are to insure, and consequently how costly your insurance will be.
To determine the types and amounts of coverage that you need, your insurance agent will evaluate several factors, such as:
- Number of employees
- Size and location of your store
- Amount and value of your inventory
- Whether or not you own your building
These factors indicate how risky your business is, and how much it will cost to insure it.
Find and Compare Quotes
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 poultry dealer 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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