Catering insurance is your safeguard against costly hazards, from foodborne illness to event mishaps. We’ll explain why this insurance is not only necessary but also a cornerstone for any catering operation’s security and continuity.

What is Catering Insurance?

Catering is an art form that blends creativity with precision, but it also comes with its fair share of risks. From the hot stoves of the kitchen to the bustling crowds of an event, catering business is exposed to numerous hazards that can lead to:

  • Injuries
  • Food poisoning
  • Equipment loss
  • Property damage

Catering insurance provides a financial safety net designed to handle the costs of unexpected claims and keep your operations running smoothly. It’s essential for catering businesses including:

  • On on-premise caterers
  • Off-premise caterers
  • Mobile caterers

Insurance Options for Caterers

To understand what insurance you need, it’s important to have a good understanding of the essential types of caterers insurance and what is actually covered. Many businesses we speak to on a daily basis falsely believe that General Liability Insurance will cover everything.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance your protection against third-party bodily injury, property damage, and foodborne illnesses that can arise in the most unexpected moments.

Catering Business Insurance

These are precisely the types of accidents that General Liability Insurance is designed to cover, ensuring that medical costs and legal fees don’t come out of your pocket.

What It Covers

  • Bodily Injury: For injuries to clients or other third parties due to the caterer’s operations, such as slips and falls at an event.
  • Property Damage: For damages to property that belongs to others, caused by the caterer’s activities, like damaging a venue’s wall or furniture.
  • Legal Defense & Judgments: Costs associated with defending against claims and any settlements or judgments, if the caterer is found liable.
  • Product Liability: Protection against illnesses or injuries caused by the food served.

What It Doesn’t Cover

  • Professional Liability: Errors in professional services, such as serving incorrect or inadequate quantities of food.
  • Liquor Liability: Issues arising from the serving of alcohol, especially if it leads to damage or injury, unless a specific liquor liability coverage is added.
  • Auto-Related Coverage: Damages or accidents involving vehicles used for business operations. This requires commercial auto insurance.
  • Employee Injuries: Injuries to employees, which are typically covered under workers’ compensation insurance, not general liability insurance.
  • Intentional Acts: Damage or injuries resulting from intentional acts or misconduct by the caterer or their employees.
  • Equipment Damage: Loss or damage to the caterer’s own equipment, which would need to be covered by property insurance or equipment floaters.

Liquor Liability Insurance

Where there is alcohol served, there is extra risk. Liquor Liability Insurance provides peace of mind for caterers who serve alcohol at their events.

Catering Business Insurance

This specialized form of insurance will provide protection over legal fees and damages related to those alcohol-induced incidents that general liability policies may not cover.

Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers’ Compensation Insurance ensures that your employees are taken care of if they are injured on the job. This policy covers medical expenses and lost wages, providing a safety net for your staff and peace of mind for you as a business owner.

Catering Business Insurance

Specifically tailored to the catering industry, this insurance addresses the unique risks present in your operations, for example knife cuts to burns, ensuring that your team is protected.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

This type of insurance is for employee related claims such as harassment or discrimination. EPLI can cover the costs if your business is sued for reasons related to employee or customer claims, ensuring that these issues don’t disrupt the rhythm of your operations.

Protecting Your Catering Vehicles

If your catering business is always on the move, Commercial Auto Insurance is the fuel that keeps your vehicle and business running safely. Personal auto policies often fall short of covering the full spectrum of catering needs, from transporting equipment to off site events.

Catering Business Insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance ensures that vehicles used primarily for business are protected against the financial repercussions of accidents.

Breaking Down Catering Insurance Costs

Coverage Type Monthly Premium Cost Annual Premium Cost Coverage Detail Limits
General Liability Insurance $25.92 $299 Aggregate Limit: $2,000,000 Occurrence Limit: $1,000,000
Liquor Liability Insurance $35 – $200 $425 – $2,400 Aggregate Limit: Up to $2,000,000 Occurrence Limit: Up to $1,000,000
Workers Compensation Insurance $45 – $90 $540 – $1,070 Up to $100,000 per accident/employee Up to $500,000 per policy
Commercial Auto Insurancee $140 – $250 $1,680 – $2,800 $500,000 – $1,000.00
Employment Practices Liability Insurance $225 – $300 $2,665 – $3,250 Policy limits: $100,000 – $1,000,000
Inland Marine (Tools & Equipment) Optional extra Optional extra $10,000 for equipment, with a $250 deductible per occurrence

Source: Data collected by Farmer Brown Insurance

Factors that influence premium costs

To give you an exact cost for catering insurance in your particular business, an experienced agent will consider certain things such as location, business size, revenue, and the amount of coverage. Therefore monthly premiums can be as low as $50 for basic coverage, or go up to $600 for premium policies with comprehensive cover.

If you want policy advice or an exact cost for a restaurant insurance, we encourage you to get in touch with us.

Choosing a Catering Insurance Policy

Choosing the best catering insurance policy for your business should involve you doing your own adequate research and also working with an experienced agent. Here are some things your agent should be doing for you.

Assessing Your Business Risks

A thorough risk assessment in order to understand the unique risks your business faces:

  • Employee injuries
  • Professional errors and omissions
  • Property damage
  • Business interruption
  • Product liability
  • Lawsuits and legal claims
  • Cybersecurity breaches

Comparing Quotes

Use online comparison tools like Farmer Brown to receive multiple quotes tailored to your business’s specific details. Also pay attention to the level of service and knowledge that the insurance broker provides you with. The convenience of purchasing your policy online and downloading your certificate of insurance cannot be overstated.

Reviewing Policy Documents

The final step in selecting your insurance policy is reviewing all the policy documents. This is where you’ll uncover the limits of your event catering insurance coverage and identify any exclusions that could leave you vulnerable.

It’s also the stage to ensure all your paperwork, from contracts to communication records, is in order and that you fully understand the terms of your policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What risks does catering insurance typically cover?

Catering insurance typically covers risks like third-party injuries, property damage, foodborne illnesses, and injuries to employees on the job. Additionally, it can be customized for specific risks such as alcohol related incidents and employment practices claims.

How much does catering insurance cost?

Catering insurance costs vary based on factors like location, coverage limits, and business size, with monthly premiums typically ranging from $50 to $600.

What is not typically covered by catering insurance?

Typically, catering insurance does not cover equipment or products once they leave your primary business location and may exclude certain employment related claims. Be sure to thoroughly review your policy to understand these exclusions.

How can I ensure that I'm choosing the best catering insurance policy?

To ensure you're choosing the best catering insurance policy, assess your business's risks, compare quotes from different providers, and thoroughly review policy documents to understand coverage limits and exclusions. This will help you make an informed decision.

Can I enhance my existing catering insurance coverage?

Yes, you can enhance your catering insurance coverage by increasing your policy limits, adding specific endorsements for risks like mobile catering, and including additional coverage types such as EPLI for employee related claims.

Get A Quote With Us Today

We hope the information above has given you some better insight into what insurance policies you need for your catering business.

If you want policy advice or an exact cost for catering insurance, we encourage you to get in touch with us.

We understand caterers and the immense risks they take when they provide their necessary services. Our agents can reduce policy prices through additional discounts of 10% to 15% from the instant quotes you receive, so please take the time to call us to review your quotes.

We provide the finest Comprehensive plans for your restaurant business by providing:

  • Licensed insurance agents that are knowledgeable
  • Same-day coverage in most instances
  • Coverage from A-rated insurance companies
  • Ability to offer policies nationwide
  • The lowest price for the best Restaurant Insurance coverage in the industry


Written by: John Brown
John has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. He grew from a star insurance producer to owning one of the largest agencies in the country; he's a reference regarding contractor's insurance, commercial insurance, and builders' risk insurance.