TOP Insurance Associates specializes in insurance programs for the beer, brewery, and distillery industries.

Below is a description of the most common brewery insurance policy coverages required to protect your brewery or distillery operations.  For a more in-depth analysis of essential insurance coverage call our office at 425-513-6007. Our agency covers the Greater Seattle area, and the states of WA, OR, ID, and AZ.

Liability Insurance: Liability insurance is required the day you sign a lease for a brewery or whenever you begin selling your product (if you contract out your brewing). There are various types of liability insurance included in your policy, including: premise liability, off-premise liability, products liability (insuring the safety of the consumer when they consume your product), advertising liability and liquor liability, among others.

Property Insurance: Property insurance covers everything you own to brew beer. From your bottles to your yeast, including mash tuns and office desks, your property policy protects the investment in your plant. If you lease your space, the property policy even protects the tenant improvement customizations you made, such as trenching drains or applying non-skid coating to the concrete. If a claim occurs, the property policy also protects your business income if your brewing operations have to be suspended for any duration.

Another essential aspect of the property policy is equipment breakdown coverage, including utility services. You can’t produce income with a disruption in your processing line or without power or water. If one or more pieces of equipment is damaged or fails, your equipment breakdown policy covers the cost to repair or replace the unit or units, including lost income during downtime.  The same applies in case your power, water or gas is disrupted; your business income is protected for the time the brewery is shut down or production is lowered.

Some losses require an additional property policy, including earthquake, flood or other acts of God, such as wind or hail damage (depending on your region).

Property-in-Transit: Often called inland marine insurance, when you or someone else transports your property (finished product or equipment), you are covered up to a chosen limit. If you lease kegs, the company will require this coverage for their property, as well.

Auto Insurance: Even if you don’t own a vehicle in the name of the brewery, auto insurance is essential for your business. Auto insurance covers not only vehicles you may own, but also non-owned (employee’s vehicles) or vehicles that you may rent on travel or to head to a beer event. If an employee bringing back lunch for the office is involved in an auto accident, the brewery can be sued. We ensure that this coverage is on every policy.

Workers Compensation: If you have even one employee, workers’ compensation insurance is required. Employees are classified by their job duties, and a rate is charged for each $100 of payroll. Typical brewery class codes are brewers, clerical office employees, outside sales reps and possibly servers if you have a tasting room or food service. Workers’ compensation ensures that employees involved in accidents are not only taken care of medically, but that they are paid at least a portion of their salary if they have to miss work.

Excess Liability: Also called an umbrella policy, excess liability provides additional coverage over and above your other liability policies (general liability, liquor liability, auto liability, workers compensation, etc.)

Employment Practices Liability Insurance: Having employees can be risky. Whether a claim is true or false, you can be sued for sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment, wrongful termination or not paying your employees overtime, among various other risks. Considering breweries’ employees are often young men and women in an environment with plenty of alcohol, not having this coverage is playing with fire.