A Guide to Business Insurance for Cafés and Coffee Shops

Running a café or coffee shop in the UK can be a lucrative business. After all, these are the go-to places for both locals and visitors looking for food and refreshments in relaxed surroundings.

Business people grabbing Americanos on the way to work, groups of friends having a catch up over coffee, creative types setting up office for a few hours – the customer base is diverse and, best of all, regular.

Public-facing businesses such as this present many risks that need to be catered for with bespoke shop insurance.

If you’re considering opening a café or coffee shop in the near future and want to know what cover you’ll need, have a read through this essential insurance guide…

Personal Accident

Every coffee shop and cafe owner’s first priority should always be their customers, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about keeping yourself safe either. Just because you keep to the highest health and safety codes, doesn’t mean you can have eyes and ears everywhere. You never know when a customer will spill a drink, and as you’re carrying a tray of plates will slip, trip and fall, and hurt yourself. You can’t always tell when a surface or meal is hot, and therefore the burns and scalds you’ll get from hot plates, liquids and hobs. And what about cutting yourself with knives, meat slicers and other equipment? With so much opportunity to harm yourself, arming yourself with Personal Accident Insurance can protect you against injuries at work. Medical bills can be expensive, as is the loss of income due to having to hire an interim manager. Personal Accident Insurance provides a weekly benefit, the amount is selected by you, which will give you money towards the bills and expenses that may arise


Business Interruption

How would your business cope with one of the following situations:

  • Physical damage at your cafe or coffee shop makes it hard for you to access your premises.
  • Your cafe or coffee shop has to close because of a fire, flood or other weather-related damage.
  • A supplier’s premises are suffering meaning they can’t provide you with the ingredients and stock you need that are key to your business, and therefore, you have nothing to sell to your customers.
  • A malicious attack – whether a robbery or cyber-related limits your ability to trade. For example, a hacker blocks your computer systems, or infiltrates your P-O-S systems.


Designed to cover your cafe or coffee shop against any loss of income, Business Interruption Insurance pays out on any loss of gross profit, as well as on the expenses caused because of this.


Product liability

Food contamination is one of the biggest threats to all food-based businesses – regardless of whether they’re coffee shops, cafes or the suppliers of them. It doesn’t matter where in the supply chain this contamination occurs – if a customer consumes a meal infected with a food borne illness, you could be held liable for any illnesses caused, and the damages sought. We know it’s not always your fault, but it certainly isn’t the customers, so to avoid paying the price of hospital fees, medical costs and, if worse comes to worse, costs of being shut down, Product Liability Insurance can cover you for some of the associated costs, minimising the impact on your financials, reputation and business.


Legal Expenses

Covering everything from legal and tax advice through to ensuring that you are financially covered should legal action be taken against you – because, for example, an employee accuses you of discrimination – Legal Expenses Insurance protects you from what can be a costly and stressful experience, providing protection for you, your staff and your business


This can be one expense that doesn’t have to be expensive.


Public liability

An integral part of the cover for cafés and coffee shops is public liability insurance. This must-have foundation kicks-in to address the potentially huge costs of dealing with any compensation claims from customers who become ill, are injured or have their property damaged as a result of your business.

There are numerous scenarios that could lead to situations like this and it’s impossible to control everything going on in your shop at all times.

An employee could spill coffee and scold a customer. A member of the public could slip on a spillage or wonky step and incur a life-changing back injury.

With so many what-ifs and an ever-growing compensation culture, it definitely pays to be adequately insured.

Employers’ liability

Coffee shops and cafés tend to require a few members of staff at least to work different shifts and provide extra support during busy periods.

All employers, even those with just one part-time member of staff, are required by law to have employers’ liability cover included under their café or coffee shop insurance policy.

Employers’ liability insurance protects you from the financial fallout of addressing compensation claims from members of your staff who are injured or become ill as a result of their job.

Taking the risk by not having this cover in place leaves you vulnerable to incurring fines and even prosecution.

Buildings insurance

Without safe and comfortable premises, your café or coffee shop is in jeopardy. Buildings insurance is there to handle the costs of repairing any damages caused by unforeseen circumstances such as flooding, fires and vandalism.

Having this peace of mind lets you quickly carry out any essential building work without having to worry about being bankrupted by the bill.

Business interruption insurance can be added to your policy if you want to cover any trade losses during periods where you’re unable to operate due to the occurrence of events out of your hands.

Contents and stock cover

Business contents and stock insurance is vital in protecting anything kept onsite including furniture, fittings, equipment and food and drink supplies.

If your freezer breaks down and you lose several weeks’ worth of stock or expensive equipment is stolen during a burglary, this element of your business insurance covers the costs of replacing any missing items.

This kind of protection can be extended further with various shop insurance add-onsto cover the likes of cash held on the premises and goods in transit.

If you provide catering services for example and will be carrying out regular deliveries, the latter add-on is a must-have.

It’s all about getting a bespoke business insurance plan tailored perfectly to your unique business requirements.

Every enterprise is different and a quality policy reflects this.

Do you need specialised insurance for a café or coffee shop? Contact The Insurance Octopus to get your business fully protected now.