Last month, we blogged about our relationship to the coffee industry and explained how it’s a niche we are trying to expand and grow.  While many agents may think the coffee industry and coffee related businesses are pretty straight forward, there are some special considerations you should make before trying to insure a coffee related business.  We have learned these throughout our experience insuring coffee shops, coffee roasters, and equipment dealers.  We have found the best way to network and get to know coffee store owners is to speak their language.  We are confident we can do that at Steffey Insurance, and that is our first consideration before trying to insure a coffee business…

Speak the Language.

Like any other niche, an insurance agent must know about the industry he or she is trying to insure or break into.  This holds true with most industries and niches, but we would venture to say even more so in the coffee industry.  Coffee business owners may be as die-hard about their craft as any, and it shows within minutes of talking to them.  They dedicate much of their life to the knowledge and expertise of not only their business, but coffee in general.  This is something that comes through instantly when dealing with most coffee professionals, whether it be business owners or their dedicated employees and baristas.  So, speak the language.  You should know what you’re talking about and understand their business and their struggles before you even enter their establishment.  Most coffee business owners have never even had an insurance agent care enough to visit their business, let alone frequent it as a customer and understand it.  We provide this relationship.  We’re knowledgeable enough to understand their exact needs and deliver them at the lowest price possible.

Product Liability.

You have to understand the range of their product liability.  You should never sell a coffee business short on their liability coverage due to the risk they are consistently exposed to.  Think about it.  They are selling a beverage.  Food and beverage liability is one of the most risky in today’s society, due to the possibility of food-borne illness, etc.  Furthermore, they are selling a product at scolding hot temperatures.  Now, while this isn’t as risky as alcohol liability, there is still a lot of exposure here that needs to be covered.  In today’s society, where lawsuits are as common as the common cold, coffee business owners NEED to be protected as much as possible.  It is pertinent that their agent doesn’t sell them short on liability coverage, and we always make sure not to.

Workman’s Compensation.

This sort of has a direct tie to the point we just made on product liability.  This point is mainly for coffee shop owners and roasters.  You MUST have proper workman’s compensation insurance for your employees.  Just as we discussed previously,  serving something at scolding hot temperatures, your employees are working with these temperatures and burners, roasters, etc. all day long.  If your employees are injured or burnt while working behind the counter of a cafe, or roasting a batch of coffee beans in a warehouse, your workman’s compensation coverage needs to cover it.  This is another important way for a business owner to protect his or her self from a lawsuit.

These are just a few quick tips to remember when insuring the coffee industry.  Our experiences insuring coffee related businesses nationwide has helped us form these viewpoints.  If you, or anyone you know needs help insuring their coffee business, please, don’t ever hesitate to contact us!