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Food Retail Insurance 101

food retail insurance
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As far as consumer goods go, it’s hard to think of a product category that’s more in demand than food. After all, everyone needs to eat. 

But along with that high demand comes a lot of regulations as well as potential liability exposures for your business. What happens if an accident occurs or a customer has an allergic reaction to a product you sold? Is that the type of expense you could afford on short notice?

Whether you’re a supermarket, a convenience store, or a vendor that’s somewhere in-between, this is what you need to know about getting food retail insurance policies.

The Four Types of Insurance Coverage That Business Owners Looking For Food Retail Insurance May Benefit From 

Food Retail Insurance
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1. Product Liability Insurance

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recalls food every year for a number of reasons that include:

  • Allergens
  • Undeclared ingredients 
  • Illness that has been connected to certain foods

It goes without saying that most stores carry a number of different foods and brands at any given time. And if a customer were to have a severe allergic reaction to a product you sold, there’s no way that you and your staff would know until after the damage was already done. Product liability insurance is acoverage option that may be able to cover expenses such as the cost of pulling and replacing product and the loss of profits. These features make it a very practical choice for many retailers.

2. Commercial General Liability Insurance

Whether you’re situated in a major city or you’re more rural, your store probably sees a certain amount of foot traffic on a day-to-day basis. Anytime there’s that many people going in and out of one place, there’s always a chance for someone to slip and hurt themselves. And really, it only takes one accident to put a serious dent in a company’s finances. 

Commercial general liability insurance is a coverage option that often makes sense for companies, like food retailers, that rely on in-person interactions as a normal way of doing business. This insurance policy can make it possible to protect your business in the event that a customer suffers either property damage or personal injury while on your premises. 

3. Commercial Property Insurance

What’s one thing that commercial leaseholders and commercial building owners have in common? Both likely have equipment that they use in order to do business. While you don’t want to operate under the assumption that problems are always around the corner, accidents and natural disasters do happen. 

A car could crash into your building tomorrow, hail storms could strike, or a fire could break out. And if all you have is general building insurance or insurance clauses in your lease, that may not provide the level of coverage that you need.  

That’s why if you have items like cash registers, self-checkout machines, or office equipment that you simply can’t do business without, commercial property insurance may be your best bet at being compensated in the event that your property is damaged.

4. Tenants’ Legal Liability Insurance

If you lease your building, this insurance coverage option may be particularly relevant. Earlier, we talked about how the foot traffic associated with customers can create liability issues. But what happens when damage is done to the building you’re leasing?

In any given week, you’re probably having produce delivered, stocking food, and disposing of expired food. These are all chances for building damage to occur. But once you start factoring in the damage customers may do by accident, the potential for harm to be done to your building goes up even more. 

Paying out-of-pocket for that building damage is the type of unexpected expense that can put a serious strain on your company finances. Tenants’ legal liability can help you cover some or all of those costs.

Two Reasons Why You May Want to Work With a Broker Who Offers Options For Food Retail Insurance 

1. Access to Better Rates

The common sense answer to the question, “How do I pay the lowest rate possible?” is the words “Shop around.” After all, the nuances and key differences you find in insurance policies can affect your monthly bottom line for better or for worse. 

But as a retailer that sells food, you’ve already got a lot on your plate. Researching insurance plans to a high level of due diligence may not be feasible.

An experienced insurance broker has access to tons of options and can easily find and quotes on your behalf. This can make it possible for you to get an insurance policy that works for you and your business without taking on the added stress of comparison shopping for food retail insurance by yourself.

2. To Have an Advocate

In any professional working relationship, it can be hard to find a partner who cares as much about your business as you do. 

When you have the right insurance broker, you have an advocate who is willing and able to help you find the insurance product that is in your best interests. But naturally, this requires a certain amount of insurance industry knowledge and experience. A good broker will know what to look for and will be able to explain how different plans and options may impact your coverage. 

If you aren’t familiar with insurance, finding that ideal plan can feel overwhelming. That’s why it pays to work with a broker who is ready and willing to advocate for you.


Selling food and food-related products can be rewarding but it’s also a tough business in many regards. Because you have limited shelf space, you have to be good at estimating demand and knowing how interested customers are likely to be in the food items you’re selling. You have to keep track of inventory and you also have to make sure that the premises are safe for customers to be on during all hours of business. And that’s before we get into the regulations surrounding the sale of food and produce to the public. 

As a result, you’re in a situation where you have both general business concerns with slip and falls or general damage to company property, but you’ve also got industry-specific liability exposures you need to watch out for as well. So when you’re looking for food retail insurance options, you have no choice but to try and address all forms of liability concerns.

We can help you ensure that you have the coverage you need as a retailer who sells food. Get in touch with an ALIGNED broker today!

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