MicroBrewr 065: Finding the right small business insurance for a brewery with Moores Insurance Management.

MicroBrewr 065: Finding the right small business insurance for a brewery

Moores Insurance Management, in St Paul, Minnesota is an independent insurance agency. They’re not an insurance company; instead they act as an advocate for small businesses, to assess risk and help pick the best insurance plan for your situation.

Jack Moores has been working in the industry for 5 years. He’s the risk advisor for the agency that his father heads. They specialize in finding the right insurance for craft breweries.

Insurance categories that a brewery likely needs:

  • Property insurance – For the building and the brewing equipment.
  • General liability – For third-party claims against your brewery such as “slips, trips, and falls” or other “allegations of negligence.”
  • Workers compensation – If an employee becomes injured or ill while working on the job.
  • Liquor liability – For claims concerning “over-served patrons.” Also covers your defense costs, which could come in handy in the event of frivolous lawsuits.

So how much will insurance cost for your brewery? Plan on budgeting about $5,000 to $10,000 annually for all insurance needs.

Keep in mind that cost of premiums can vary widely based many factors including:

  • Location
  • Property value
  • Amount of equipment
  • Square footage of the building
  • Projected revenue
  • Percent of beer sold on-site
  • Amount and type of live music

Additionally, businesses are rated based on “loss experience” and judged against other businesses in the same industry. Basically, if you have more claims than other breweries, you rates can go up. This is especially important in terms of workers compensation insurance.

“Haste leads to accidents…” says Jack. “Safety and prevention of claims really pays off because workers compensation constitutes close to half of a brewery’s total insurance program.”

Craft breweries experience twice as many claims for workers compensation than their macro brewery counterparts. And many of the risks present in the brewing environment are unique to the industry.

“The brewing business is a unique enough exposure that it warrants specialized coverages,” explains Jack. “A standard commercial insurance policy slapped onto a brewery is really going to leave some pretty significant gaps [in coverage.]”

Other insurance coverage that a brewery should consider:

  • Product recall
  • Employment practices
  • Beer spillage
  • Tank leakage
  • Refrigeration coverage

“The cost isn’t necessarily more, it’s just coverages that are tailored toward breweries,” explains jack

The main thing is to be proactive in managing your risk. Don’t think of insurance as a chore that just needs to be done, so find the least expensive plan.

“You have a product that you love, it’s dream job. I really don’t think it makes sense to jeopardize all of that just to save a few dollars on insurance.”

“Haste leads to accidents… Safety and prevention of claims really pays off.” [Tweet This]


Listener question:

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