National News: Getting the Right Insurance for Your Food Truck

By Rishi Arora | Progressive Commercial

Progressive 05312013_FoodTruckContest_300x250

In the past few years, food trucks have gone from a quick, convenient place to get food, to traveling stewards of culinary excellence. That trend has proved to be popular with consumers, leading to a boom in the industry. From 2011 to 2012, Progressive saw a nearly 20% increase in the number of food trucks we insure. Getting the right coverage for your truck is crucial. It makes sure your investment is protected from the unexpected. Below are two important questions to ask as you shop for insurance.

What are my coverage options?

Cooking equipment can be costly, and insurance can give you the peace of mind that it’s covered if you’re in an accident. So what coverages should you consider?

Liability coverage – Liability coverage applies if you are at-fault in an accident. It will help you pay for damage to the other vehicle.

Bodily Injury & Property Damage coverage – Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverage will help pay for injuries to people or damage to property caused by your truck.

Comprehensive coverage – Comprehensive coverage helps pay for damage to your truck caused by an event other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism.

Collision coverage – Collision coverage helps pay for damage caused to your truck if you hit something.

Make sure that your Comprehensive and Collision coverage covers both your truck and your gear. Adjust your limits to cover any expensive grills or stoves. Anything bolted to your truck can be covered by Comprehensive and Collision coverage. Keep your receipts to make the process as smooth as possible if you ever need to file a claim, and keep your coverage limits up-to-date as you update your truck with new equipment.

In addition to coverages, check how much each company is charging for an additional insured under your policy. The cost can vary greatly depending on your insurer. Also make sure you talk to an independent agent about coverages you still need for your business that don’t fall into the commercial auto bucket. This could include Business Property to cover equipment that isn’t bolted to the vehicle, General Liability and equipment breakdown coverage.

How do you handle claims?

Time is money, so getting back on the road fast is crucial. If your food truck is in the shop, you don’t only lose your vehicle, you lose your kitchen. Check to see if your insurer has:

Dedicated claims representatives – Some companies hire third-party claims reps. Check if your insurer has specially trained claims reps who understand your business.

24/7 claims service – This doesn’t just mean call centers (although that’s obviously important). See if they have round-the-clock roadside assistance.

A network of repair shops – Insurers with network repair shops can usually get your vehicle fixed quicker, and many of the shops guarantee their work for long periods of time.

Knowing about available coverages and how a company handles claims options puts you in a position to make the best commercial auto insurance decision as you insure your food truck. If you have more questions, be sure to talk to your insurer or independent agent.

Flo’s Fabulous Food Truck Contest – A Chance to $Win 5,000

Progressive Insurance is giving food truck owners the chance to win $5,000 to help boost their business. To win, you simply have to upload a picture of your food truck and tell us how you’d spend the money. Then encourage your customers, friends and family to go vote for you. The contest ends in July 2013. To enter, vote or get more details about the contest, visit http://www.progressivecommercial.com/hub/contests/2013-food-truck-contest.aspx#!/.

Rishi Arora is commercial auto product manager at Progressive. In business since 1937, Progressive is a market leader in commercial auto insurance and the #1 truck insurer. For more information on Progressive’s coverages or to find a local independent agent, go to http://www.progressivecommercial.com.