What insurance do I need for my New York Food Truck?
Food Trucks have become the hot wave hitting the streets (literally) over the past few years.
All different kinds and styles have been seen traveling around Upstate New York and surrounding areas with new ones popping up weekly.
For all food truck owners to best protect themselves and their business they will need a few specific insurance policies.
NY Commercial Auto
The most expensive insurance policy when operating a food truck business is usually insuring the truck(s) or trailer itself.
Whether you have an actual food truck that you drive around or you are pulling a food trailer behind another vehicle, it is important that you get a commercial auto policy that helps protect you in the event of a claim.
Commercial Auto insurance helps cover the cost of potential lawsuits, property damage, medical bills and other expenses arising from an accident.
A commercial auto policy that is written correctly will also provide physical damage to the truck or trailer as well, this includes the permanently attached cooking equipment that you have.
Most food trucks are equipped with thousands of dollar’s worth of cooking equipment and with the grills and fryers exposure, your business could be at a higher risk for a claim.
Commercial auto policies for food trucks are generally higher for two reasons:
- Commercial auto rates in New York are high in general
- There are a limited number of insurance companies that insure Food Trucks as a standalone business.
General Liability Insurance
General Liability Insurance for a food truck can be written standalone or on a business owners or a package insurance policy.
At Crowley Insurance, our agents recommend a business owners or package policy.
A business owners or package policy will include the general liability along with the business personal property coverage.
General Liability coverage will protect the business in the event you are responsible for bodily injury, illness, or property damage not caused by the auto related incident.
This will cover the business against slip and falls near your truck along with food sickness or allergies.
Business Personal Property
A business owner policy is made up of both general liability and business personal property coverage.
Any food truck will be carrying inventory, cooking utensils, and cooking equipment that is not permanently attached which will need to be covered. This is what can be included on your business owner’s policy under your property coverage.
Any cooking equipment that is permanently attached should be added to your commercial auto policy.
Any food truck owner in the State of New York, is required to carry Worker’s Compensation when you have employees.
Worker’s compensation coverage protects if your employees are injured while on the job. It will cover the medical expense and partial lost wages.
Employers are required to carry and pay for workers compensation on behalf of their employees.
The amount that a worker can receive is based on his or her average weekly wage from the previous year. Using a formula of 2/3rd x your weekly wage.
There is a 7 day consecutive day waiting period before payment kicks in.
The cost of Workers Compensation for food truck owners in New York is determined by how much annual payroll you have multiplied by the class code rate that your insurance company uses.
Even though New York sets the base rate for each industry and employee classification, that does not mean that rates do not fluctuate from insurance company to company.
Each Insurance company can file for other rating factors that can increase or decrease your insurance premiums. Make sure you pay close attention to your rates, so you don’t overpay when you don’t have to.
New York State Disability
New York is one of a handful of states that require employers to cover employees for injuries or illnesses that happen off duty with what is called a short-term disability policy.
A disability policy is required just as a workers compensation policy is the moment you have your first employee.
Disability benefits are temporary cash benefits paid to an eligible wage earner when they have been deemed unable to work by an off-duty injury or illness.
Short term disability policies now include a separate part called Paid Family Medical Leave (PFL Coverage) that was introduced to New York in 2018.
This policy is rated by two ways.
Number of employees both male and female is how the disability portion is rated.
Annual payroll is how the paid family leave coverage is rated.
Both male and females will have a different rate for your disability coverage due to the fact that females are allowed to take disability benefits during their 6-8 week maternity leave.
New York now only has a handful of insurance carriers left that will write both the disability coverage and PFL coverage.
Where do I get food truck insurance?
Standalone food truck businesses may have a harder time finding competitive food truck insurance compared to a food truck that is operating in relation to a restaurant business.
There are only a few insurance carriers that will insure all of the above insurance policies for standalone food trucks together.
Otherwise, you will need to buy policies from individual insurance carriers to help fill the gaps in coverage.
At Crowley Insurance, we have access to both options giving us the expertise and the products to best insure your New York food truck business.
Reach out to us or another independent insurance agent who can help you set up your business with the proper insurance protection.