THE MOST COMMON INSURANCE CLAIMS AGAINST BREWERIES AND HOW THEY CAN BE AVOIDED – ARE YOU COVERED IF THEY HAPPEN?
As commercial combined insurances go, brewery insurance offers one of the more unique sets of risks, and risk management and potential claims. From a highly sensitive product that can be spoiled on a large scale, to a very hazardous working environment – brewery insurance claims can be different to most – we look back on some of the most frequent claims in the last few years and how they can be avoided.
Public Liability Insurance
It has grown increasingly popular for craft breweries to host tasting events, tours, mini markets and shops at their breweries. These are a great way of bringing in guests and introducing them to your beers and wowing them with the magic of the brewing process.
However, a hazardous environment with the supply of alcohol to the general public comes with its own unique set of risks. Many breweries that may have decided to do these events, may not have considered adding public liability to their current insurance policy but may well find themselves uninsured if anything was to happen.
Most Public Liability claims come from slips and falls. Having correct signage in your brewery can be a great preventative measure, eg warning the public if there is a particularly hazardous environment or wet floor.
Alcohol awareness course may be helpful to any of the staff serving beer to the public as well.
Product Liability Insurance
From over carbonation, frozen and exploding kegs, to smashed bottles on a large scale. Bursting bottles and large scale product recall for spoilage. From the initial brewing process, storage and hauling of beer – a lot can go wrong that can have expensive repercussions.
Regular checks on your equipment is vital, even down temperature gauges. Making sure your packaging is sufficient on all bottles that are due to travel. Having correct sanitation and cleaning procedures in place is vital. Many breweries lately have had claims for stock recall, resulting in thousands of pounds. Make sure your policy covers this sufficiently.
Employers Liability Insurance
As with any business that requires physical labour, breweries need to educate employees on the risks they face. If you employ 6 or more staff you will need to do regular risk assessments. You will need to meet all relevant standards and requirements of Health and Safety, otherwise you may find your insurance void at point of claim.
Many craft breweries employers liability claims result from improper lifting techniques, pinching fingers between kegs and knees banging against kegs. Holding regular safety meetings and use safety training videos to educate your staff can prove a very useful deterrent in accidents.
Burns from steam during the brewing process can also be common, with the best prevention will be by using proper safety equipment, including wearing protective glasses, gloves, long sleeves and proper boots.
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