If you own a café or tearooms, you may be looking for the appropriate type of insurance for your business, to safeguard against a surprisingly wide range of potential risks and perils.
On the other hand, you might be running a community café on a voluntary or charitable basis, from premises you rent in the village hall or other building used by the community.
In either case, your time is well-spent in looking for cafe insurance. Many elements of the cover might not be required by law, but if you are using premises rented from the community or a charity, the trustees are almost certain to insist that you have adequate insurance cover – and the typical requirements in such cases are helpfully set out in a guide published by Hull Community and Voluntary Services.
Public liability insurance
Here at Specialist4Business, we recognise that this seemingly innocuous element of business cover is as critical for any type of café – commercial or charitable – as it is for any other “public facing” business (where members of the public are visiting your establishment for the goods and services they buy).
There is no legal requirement to hold public liability insurance. And if you are operating from a community hall, it may be reasonable to assume that such cover has already been arranged by the owners or trustees of the premises. Even so, you may still be held personally liable if it is shown that your actions – or failure to act – have resulted in a visitor or member of the public suffering an injury or damage to their property.
Whether you are running a commercial business or a community café, however, indemnity against public liability claims is so critical because of the proportions they may assume – especially if it involves someone having been injured. That is why public liability insurance typically provides indemnity of at least £1 million.
Further discussion of the many issues surrounding public liability insurance was published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) on the 10th of March 2017.
Employers’ liability insurance
If there are any paid employees helping to run your café, the law requires that you have a minimum of £5 million employers’ liability insurance – to enable you to meet claims from any employee who has been injured or contracts a longer-term illness because of their work.
If you are running a community café run solely by volunteers, you might want to bear in mind that there are legislative moves afoot to classify those volunteers as “unpaid employees”, thus bringing even these within the requirement for employers’ liability insurance.
Premises and contents
If you lease the premises from which your café is run, it is customary for your landlord to arrange the necessary insurance for the structure and fabric of the building. If you own the premises, then clearly you may need to consider the protection building insurance affords.
But you are also likely to have invested quite heavily in the kitchen equipment and appliances you use, the stock you carry, the crockery and utensils, and the furniture used by your customers.
These may all need the protection of suitable contents insurance.