As with any business, owners of mobile food trucks need to protect themselves and their business. While food service businesses face potential insurance claims every day, food trucks face additional risks, for which they need different types of insurance.

A typical insurance program for a mobile food vendor may include the following coverages, which are fully customizable to meet any need.

Commercial Auto Liability: This insurance is designed for vehicles used during the course of business operation.

Be careful not to purchase only personal auto insurance that includes “business usage” because the terms of the commercial auto insurance and personal auto insurance policies differ. Generally, a commercial policy offers higher limits of insurance, allows for modified trucks, and permits different types of usage and travel radius. Also, a food truck is generally larger than a personal vehicle and has heavy modifications, so it needs extra coverage!

Commercial General Liability – This insurance is a policy that offers several specific types of coverage including personal injury and advertising injury, medical expense payments, and damage to rented premises. Additional coverages can be added to meet your specific needs.

Simply put, your commercial auto policy is only one piece of the insurance puzzle. What will protect you when you’ve parked the truck, opened your service window, or perhaps set up tables? Commercial general liability includes protection from claims that arise from bodily injury and property damage, as well as covering the food that you sell.

Inland Marine Coverage – This insurance covers the loss or damage of your business personal property, such as supplies, equipment, and inventory. Think of it as business personal property insurance for a mobile unit.

It is very important to note that although you may have coverage for liability risks under your auto insurance while towing equipment, typically no coverage exists for replacement if it’s damaged or stolen.

Trailer Endorsement – If you have a food trailer (such as a smoker or barbeque that you tow behind your truck), this endorsement can help make sure that you are protected from property and liability claims while it is detached from your vehicle.

Umbrella Liability – Also known as excess liability, this insurance provides additional protection above and beyond your commercial auto, general liability, and workers’ compensation policies. For example, if your general liability policy provides $1 million in coverage but a claim settlement calls for $2 million, your umbrella policy would cover that additional million dollars.

Additional Insured Certificates

One insurance topic many new food truck owners are unfamiliar with is the need for additional insured certificates. An additional insured is a term for a person, firm, or other entity that’s afforded the same protection under the insurance policy as the insured (food truck).

Most property owners and event planners require this paperwork when they invite food trucks onto privately held property for a food truck event. In some cases, if you’ll be attending an event that’s held on city or county-owned property, a government agency will also ask to be included as an additional insured. Essentially, the venue or event is protecting itself from any bodily injury or property damage your business may cause at its event.


**Please note that these are brief definitions of coverage. Your policy may be more restrictive in its language. Refer to the actual policy for a complete description of coverage and exclusions.