Food Vendor Insurance: Coverage, Providers & Cost

Food vendor insurance is the type of coverage that food vendors need in order to protect their business from financial loss due to liability claims. General liability and commercial property are the most popular policies for food vendors. Costs for food vendor insurance range from $300 to $1,300 per year and as low as $60 for one-day events. With more coverage, larger operations and more equipment, costs will rise.

Different food vendors have different food liability insurance requirements. For food vendors, an online broker such as CoverWallet is a smart way to find the right policy at the right price. You can receive a quote free of charge from a carrier who understands your business needs and risks.

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What does Food Vendor Insurance cover?

Food vendor insurance covers mobile food vendors, single-event vendors, and concessionaires. Each business operates in different locations and can be exposed to different risks. A weekly farmers’ market has different risks than a concession stand at a concert venue. Vendors need to be aware of the risks they are exposed so they can choose policies that protect them.

Food vendor liability insurance, for example, must cover both normal business risks such as slip-and fall general liabilities and risks specific to food vendors. Foodborne diseases and equipment failure are two examples of unique risks.


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Tip: Festivals and fairs can have differing insurance requirements. Before you begin looking for insurance, make sure to inquire about the event’s coverage limits and duration.


Who needs food liability insurance?

Food vendor liability insurance is required for any business selling food products to the public at non-traditional locations. Concession stands, street fairs, and public sidewalks are all possible locations. These are some of the most common small businesses that purchase food vendor liability insurance:

  • Food trucks
  • Food trailers
  • Food carts
  • Caterers
  • Concessionaires
  • Private chefs and personal chefs

For any event, even one-day, food vendor insurance is usually required. Restaurants that regularly work at community events or set up tents at food festival events will need to have a policy endorsement or special endorsement. This will cover all the risk associated with events and mobile operations. Because of the higher risk of foodborne diseases, some restaurant insurance policies do not allow event coverage. Different venues have different insurance requirements so you need to know ahead of time if your venue requires additional insurance.

Mobile Food Vendor Insurance Prices

For most small businesses, food vendor insurance costs range from $300 to $1300 per annum. The vendor may only need general liability insurance. However, it is cheaper than those who require additional coverage (e.g. commercial property) or those who want a owner’s policy (BOP). which bundles liability and property coverages.

If you own a food cart, for example, you may only require basic coverage to protect your risks. This includes a BOP for general and commercial liability. You may need foodtruck insurance if you own a food truck with multiple employees and a large vehicle. This would include workers’ compensation and commercial auto insurance.

Insurance costs for food vendors

Policy Premium Cost (Annually). Maximum Coverage Deductible
General Liability From $500 to $1,200 $1 Million $0
BOP From $600 to $1.500 $1 Million $500
Auto From $1,300 to 3,500 $1 Million $500
Inland Marine $300 to $1,000 Depends on the value of the business property N/A
Equipment Breakdown Endorsement From $200 to $800 $50,000 $250 to $2,000
Workers’ Complement From $1,000 to $2,700 $1 Million $0

General liability insurance costs about $100 per day for coverage that covers food vendors for one event such as a food festival. These premiums can vary depending on the provider, state, size of the business, and certain coverages. Your coverage options, such as the limits and the deductibles, are some of the factors that will determine your food vendor insurance cost.

Insurance companies use factors to calculate food vendor insurance costs.

  • Operation: Your business’s nature can impact your risk, such as whether you have a food stand or a mobile food cart.
  • Location A food vendor at a high-crime corner will charge a different rate to a concessionaire who is positioned in a building that has security like a concert hall.
  • Value business property: The higher the premium, the more business assets you insure.
  • Employer payroll: Workers’ Compensation premiums are determined by payroll costs and type of work performed.
  • Coverage amount Although increasing the liability limits or the coverage of assets can increase premiums, this is not a direct correlation. Double coverage doesn’t mean double cost.
  • Deductibles An increase in deductibles can reduce premium costs. Before you finalize your policy, ensure that you have the funds to pay a deductible.
  • Claims history Your premiums could be higher if you have had previous claims because you are more likely to make another claim.

Tip: Event organizers require a certificate of insurance (COI). This certifies that you have the correct amount of coverage, and also lists the event as an additional insured. Each COI costs around $25, while adding someone as an insured endorsement can cost up to $100. Some insurers offer COIs for free and you can download them quickly from their sites.

Food Vendor Insurance Providers

Provider Best for
CoverWallet Catering and food vendors can be found at a range of events.
Progressive Commercial Food trucks equipped with machinery and equipment attached to the trucks
Food Liability Insurance Program Multiple vendors who need certificates of insurance for multiple events
Hiscox Microbusinesses and sole proprietors can operate a wide range of food vendor operations.
Nationwide For occasional and part-time food sellers, short-term, targeted coverage

Many national small-business insurance companies are specialized in specific types of food vendors, so they can offer slightly higher pricing and better protection. Food vendors should compare policies from at least three insurance companies before deciding on a policy. This allows them to compare the coverage they get for the amount they pay in premiums.


CoverWallet can be used by food vendors who are involved in a wide range of events. CoverWallet is an online insurance broker that allows them to search for top-rated national carriers to cover a restaurant that hosts a street fair or a food truck that expands to corporate and family events. CoverWallet offers food vendor insurance policies that cover general liability, commercial property, workers’ compensation, and other options.

Progressive Commercial

Progressive Commercial is a good option for food truck owners who have expensive food preparation equipment permanently attached to their vehicles. This carrier is nationally recognized as a reliable provider of auto insurance, which gives them an advantage in offering the right policies for food truck owners, such as ice cream trucks. Progressive Advantage Business Program offers business owners discounts of 10% to 15% when they bundle multiple policies.


FLIP can be a great option for food businesses that work at multiple events throughout the calendar year. FLIP offers vendors the opportunity to get free certificates of liability insurance. FLIP often provides coverage the same day. FLIP’s insurance policies are underwritten by The Great American Insurance Group. They start at $245 for food coverage.


Hiscox can be a great partner for sole proprietors or microbusinesses in a wide range of food vendors including food and drink carts, mobile food service, concessions, and street food vendors. Hiscox is a specialist in general liability for food vendors. Monthly costs start at $30 and you can get up to $2,000,000 in coverage online. Before you receive the final quote, you can easily adjust your coverage and deductible. It is also easier to get a quote online than to speak with an agent by phone.

All over the country

Nationwide provides great coverage for part-time food vendors that might only have a few booths at events each year. Food vendors can tailor their coverage for short-term policies to be used away from long-term leased or owned premises with this national carrier. Nationwide offers the ability to choose the coverage level and duration, as well as separate policies to cover losses to inventory, stock, or property.

Common Types Of Food Vendor Insurance

You will need some type of insurance, regardless if you are a mobile food vendor and/or a food truck owner. General liability is the most popular type of insurance for food vendors. To protect their vehicles and assets, some vendors may also require commercial property or commercial auto insurance.

Commercial General Liability

Commercial general insurance provides primary insurance coverage for food sellers. It is also known as food vendor liability insurance. This coverage is essential when working with the public as it covers all costs and legal fees if you are accused of causing injury to an employee.

General liability insurance usually covers:

  • Third-party injuries : You can burn someone’s hand if you accidentally spill hot coffee while giving it to them.
  • Foodborne illness: If your customer reports food poisoning after consuming your undercooked product.
  • Third-party Property Damage: If your doll rolls into someone’s vehicle in the event parking lot.

Commercial Property Insurance

You wouldn’t be able to run your food business without your equipment and cart. Commercial property insurance is essential coverage for food vendors. This policy covers any property that is owned by your business and can be repaired or replaced if it is damaged by the covered perils.

  • Vandalism and theft: After someone steals your supplies, or takes them away from you, you must replace them.
  • Water damage or fire: After a fire, pipe burst, or other disaster, you will need to replace all your inventory, supplies, and carts.
  • Food spoilage When your cart’s motor stops working, it can’t keep your products cool. Your food will spoil and you won’t be able to sell it.

A BOP is a cost-effective option for small businesses that combines protections for general liability and commercial property. If your business is affected by a covered loss, you can also get business interruption coverage.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance protects third-party claims for bodily injury and property damage in the event you are found liable for an accident. You can also get first-party coverages such as protection for damage to business vehicles that is caused by uninsured and underinsured drivers. Personal auto insurance doesn’t cover vehicles that are used solely for business purposes.

For food trucks, commercial auto coverage is essential. Auto insurance is essential to protect your investment when your biggest asset and greatest risk exposure are tied to a commercial vehicle.

Inland Marine Insurance

Mobile food vendors don’t usually have a physical location. They need inland marine coverage to protect their valuable assets. This includes equipment, tools, supplies and inventory while they move from one place to the next. Commercial property insurance does not cover items beyond the address on the policy.

Insurance for Equipment Failure

Equipment breakdown insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing equipment and machinery that are essential to daily operations in the event of an internal malfunction. Inland marine covers the generator while in transit. Equipment breakdown replaces the generator when the generator overheats during a summer festival.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ Compensation Insurance offers benefits to employees in the case of work-related illnesses or injuries. If you have employees, most states require that you have this coverage. This coverage is not required for small food vendors that are solely owned and operated by themselves. Workers’ compensation is offered by some insurance companies for single events lasting between one and ten days.

Bottom line

Small business owners in the food sector need to ensure that they have the right insurance coverage. This goes beyond protecting them from liability claims and property damage. Insurance is essential for many food vendors. Food vendors need sufficient liability coverage to be able to get permits, licenses, and contracts.

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