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What insurance do I need to open a coffee shop?


A barista serving a customer, confident they have coffee shop insurance

We all know about the UK’s centuries-long love affair with tea. It’s fuelled our country’s caffeine habit since the 1600s.

But its throne looks to have been usurped by a relatively new upstart: coffee.

Research has found that coffee now outsells tea in the UK. With 533 million packs of coffee being sold, compared to just 287 million for tea, in the financial year ending March 2023.

This shift hasn’t happened overnight. But its effect can be seen up and down the UK.

In the ten years between 2009 and 2019, the number of coffee shops in the UK increased from 13,034 to 25,892. And by all accounts, this trend is continuing.

A good coffee shop is in demand now more than ever. Even with the market becoming more saturated.

Thinking of opening your own? Or maybe a tearoom or cat café is more your speed?

Before you start ordering your beans and machines, let’s talk about how you can brew up the perfect insurance package for your new caffeine haven.

Choose the right beans

A good coffee begins with the most important ingredient: the beans. It’s the foundation of a great cup of joe.

Coffee shop insurance is pretty similar. You’ve got to start with the basics.

Do you have any employees? Then you need employers’ liability insurance. It’s a legal requirement in the UK, whether you employ part-time, full-time, work experience, volunteers, or anything in between.

Although, if your coffee shop is a family affair, you are exempt if you employ close family members.

It covers you if an employee is injured or gets ill because of the work they do for you. And pays any legal fees and compensation you might owe.

If you don’t have it, you could be fined £2,500 a day by the Health & Safety Executive. So make sure you’ve got the right cover in place. Luckily, the government have put together a handy guide to get you up to speed.

Next, we need to talk about public liability insurance for cafés. It protects you if someone is injured or their property is damaged while they’re with you.

Let’s say one of your baristas is delivering a coffee to a table. They might slip, dousing a customer’s laptop in coffee. Or even worse, scalding their lap.

Either would be a bit of a disaster and could lead to a nasty claim. Don’t worry, public liability insurance has you covered for legal costs and compensation.

Froth the milk

Once you’ve got your beans, it’s time to froth your milk to perfection and complete the basis of your brew.

When it comes to café insurance, your ‘milk’ is a couple of insurance covers that take care of the things you need to run your business: contents and stock.

Let’s start with business contents insurance. Simply, it pays to repair or replace broken, damaged, or stolen assets.

What do we mean by assets? Well, a few things:

  • Fixtures and fittings, like kitchens, flooring, décor, lighting, and anything else along these lines.
  • Equipment and furniture. This is the big one for you, as it includes your fancy coffee machines, your tills, and your furniture.
  • Personal belongings of your employees are covered too.

Now that your contents are covered, it’s time to look after your stock. Without which, you’d have a really difficult time opening your doors every morning.

Stock insurance covers you if your stock is destroyed, damaged, or stolen. Even if it’s stored away from your coffee shop.

So it can keep you up and running, even if your coffee beans and cakes are snaffled by a caffeine-dependent bandit.

Chocolate on top? Maybe a shot of syrup?

Now that you’ve got the essentials, it’s time to get a bit fancy. A cherry on top of your insurance package, if you will.

These are types of coffee shop insurance that can save you a lot of time and money, depending on the circumstances.

Do you own the property that you’re running your coffee shop out of? Then commercial property insurance would be a great idea. As long as you don’t live in the building too.

It pays to repair damage if something unexpected happens. Like a flood, a fire, or a storm.

Like many other businesses, you’re probably quite reliant on the internet. You might take orders online, have an app, store customer data, send out emails, or run your financials through an online service.

However you use it, the threat of a cyber-attack is always there. Cyber insurance covers you if you’re hit by a cybercriminal. It helps you pick up the pieces, get back online, and protect your reputation.

Why coffee shop insurance is like the ultimate brew

Having the right insurance for a coffee shop is like creating the ultimate cup of coffee. It’s comforting, warm, energising…

Okay, maybe we’ve taken this metaphor a bit too far.

It protects your business from many of the risks that you’re going to face as a coffee shop, café, or tearoom owner. And makes sure that you can keep your doors open, even if the worst happens.

Employers’ liability, public liability, business contents, and stock insurance are there to cover the core of your business. And commercial property and cyber insurance support you with other risks you might face.

They all work together like the perfect dunking biscuit and a great cuppa. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

You can find out more about café and coffee shop insurance, or get a quote. You can also give us a call on 0345 222 5391 to speak to our team.

Image used under licence from iStock.

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