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Mobile catering is big business. With around 5000 operators and an annual industry turnover of nearly £700 million, you can see why people invest in a catering van or trailer, selling hot and food within local areas and further afield at festivals and outdoor events.
Quotiva can help you find cover for both catering trailers and catering vans. If you're just getting into the mobile catering world, you may want to know the difference between the two.
Difference between a catering van and trailer?
For many people we will be stating the obvious here, but essentially the main difference between the catering trailer and the van, is that the van can be driven and the trailer must be towed by another vehicle -- they both share the same purpose.
Catering trailers could be selling any kinds of fast food, be it in on main shopping streets in British towns or at air shows and in green fields at festivals. Trailers could also include handcarts pushed and pulled manually. Catering vans can include burger and kebab vans, ice cream vans, sandwich vans and many more -- they're typically found in the same places as trailers. Ultimately, choosing between a trailer or van is a personal choice, dependent on budget and space constrictions.
So what kind of insurance do I need?
Whether you choose either a catering van or a catering trailer, mobilers insurance is in fact relatively similar. One thing is for certain, you'll most definitely want to make sure you have some kind of liability cover on your policy:
Product Liability Insurance
This can protect your business from any claims made against you should you accidentally serve up a batch of food or beverages that makes your customers ill with food poisoning. Whilst you may rigorously check all ingredients for quality, mistakes can be made. Product liability insurance will pay for the public's medical expenses, should claims against you be justified.
Public Liability Insurance
PL cover can protect you against claims made by members of the public who may have experienced accidental injury or property damage at the hands of your business.
Employers' Liability Insurance
If you employ staff whilst mobile event catering, then this type of liability cover is a legal requirement. EL cover will allow you to meet the costs of legal fees and a damage payout, should a member of staff be accidentally injured or made ill whilst working in your employment. As a caterer you will be fully aware just how easy it is to for an accident or injury to take place in a hot kitchen!
There are other types of liability cover that may be of use to you and your business. If you are towing you catering trailer, some brokers will offer you towing liability, which will cover you for any accidental property damage or third party injury caused whilst towing your trailer. Also, some firms will offer short-term liability cover if you are only planning on catering at an outdoors even once a year or for for a short period of time only.
What should I look for in catering van or catering trailer insurance?
There are a lot of factors that may have an affect on the cost of your mobile catering insurance premium. Here's a few that may be relevant to you:
No Claims Bonus
If you're starting out in the catering world and have just purchased a van, you may be worried about your lack of catering van no claims bonus (NCB). Thankfully, most insurance brokers will be willing to mirror the years of NCB built up on your private car policy -- make sure you speak to your broker about this.
If you already own your van or trailer there's little you can do about this. However, please keep in mind that the heavier your vehicle is, generally the larger it is and thus it is more of a risk on public roads. If you don't need a 7.5 tonne trailer or van, don't get one -- big is not always better!
New For Old Cover
If you have invested a lot of money on modifying your van or trailer it may be worth speaking to your broker about agreeing some kind of new for old cover. This means that if you have comprehensive cover and experience a total loss, the payout you receive will take into account the money you spent on your van/trailer and not just the depreciated cost of the standard model.
Finally, if you own a catering van, some brokers may offer you a discounted towing vehicle insurance. If may be worth looking into this if your current vehicle insurance policy doesn't allow for towing. Also, breakdown cover for your catering van may be of interest -- a standard breakdown policy may not cover it. This will also be the case for those towing their trailer.
Additional cover options
It may pay to look into contents insurance for your catering trailer or van. Most mobile caters carry a generator with them to outdoors events and the theft or damage to this essential and expensive piece of equipment could be damaging to your business. Of course there is other expensive contents, such as fridges, griddles, fryers etc. You may want as much equipment as possible covered. Don't forget that some brokers will offer other insurance cover such as stock and money cover -- it never hurts to insure your business to the nines, but you can lose big when you under-insure.