Vending machines are highly convenient, and they can be found in a number of locations. For those looking to make money in an enterprise that allows them to be their own boss and make their own hours, investing in vending machines can be a lucrative and opportune business venture. Of course this type of work requires you to purchase your machines, which can be quite expensive, so you will want to be sure to protect your investment with a solid commercial insurance portfolio. An independent agent can help you find the right vending machine insurance for your particular business.
2014 Vending Machine Industry Facts From IBISWorld
- There are approximately 24,100 vending machine businesses operating in the United States.
- These businesses employ more than 65,000 people.
- The vending machine industry is responsible for about $8 billion in revenue each year.
Vending Machine Owners Need Sufficient Property Coverage
Vending machines can be very expensive and you will want to be certain that they are suitably insured against vandalism and other perils. Because these machines are kept in various locations outside of your actual business, you will need to cover them with an inland marine insurance policy. This coverage may be required by your financial institution if you have taken out a business loan to cover the cost of the machines.
You likely purchase the products with which you stock your machines in bulk in order to get them at wholesale prices. If so, this will require you to store an inventory somewhere, and if the value of this inventory is high, you will want to be sure that it is insured. Whether you keep the inventory in an established place of business or in your own home, you will need contents coverage. If you store the inventory at your residence, do not count on your homeowners insurance to cover the full value of your business inventory. A business insurance policy may be necessary if your inventory is of significant value.
Protect Your Vending Machine Business With Proper Liability Insurance
Without proper insurance, a single liability lawsuit has the potential to wipe out your business. Fortunately, you can choose from a number of liability coverage products when building your commercial insurance policy. Some coverage that you may want to discuss with your insurance agent includes the following:
- General liability insurance: If an item gets stuck in a machine, people are prone to shake or hit the machine in an effort to dislodge it. If someone becomes severely injured in the act, as can happen if the machine falls on them or they cut their hand on broken glass, they might sue your business. Even if you are found to be not at fault, the court costs and legal fees can present a large financial setback. General liability insurance absorbs these costs so you can focus on running a profitable business.
- Commercial auto liability insurance: If you have purchased a truck or van specifically for use in restocking and servicing your machines, your business is at risk for liability if the driver of the truck is involved in a collision. Business-owned vehicles must be insured with commercial auto insurance.
- Hired and non-owned auto insurance: If you or your employees use personally owned vehicles to attend to the vending machines, your business is at risk for liability charges if the driver is responsible for a collision while making rounds. You can protect your business with a hired or non-owned auto insurance policy.
- Workers' compensation insurance: If you have employees, this coverage may be required, depending on where your business is located. It is mandatory in most states. Workers' compensation covers medical treatment for injuries sustained while on the job.
Your business may be at risk for additional liability issues not listed above. An independent agent can recommend additional coverage if it is needed.
Insure Your Vending Machine Business Against Crime
By far, the biggest risk faced by vending machine merchants is loss caused by crime. You will want to be certain that your vending machine insurance portfolio provides coverage against this exposure.
Most vending machines accept cash. There is always an element of risk when you or an employee collects the cash from the machine. You face not only the danger of being attacked and robbed but also of an employee stealing from you or taking off with the money that has been collected. To protect your business from this risk, you can purchase what is known as crime insurance. This insurance coverage can be tailored specifically to the needs of your particular vending machine business. Your agent can help you get appropriate coverage.
If you own a vending machine that accepts credit card payments, such as Red Box or many of the vending machines found at airports, you face a different sort of risk known as a cyber attack. Criminals can create what are known as skimmers. These skimmers are added to the machine where the credit card is accepted and usually go unnoticed by the public. Skimmers can read credit card numbers, and, if the customer is using a debit card, can even record their PIN number. If your machine is targeted for skimming, you may be held liable by customers, banks and credit card companies. You can protect yourself from this risk through a relatively new type of coverage known as cyber-liability insurance policy. Be sure to discuss this coverage with your agent if credit cards are accepted by your machines.