Tags Posts tagged with "Insurance Coverage"

Insurance Coverage

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Catering food trucks have a unique insurance coverage exposure that most insurance carriers do not want to insure. Workers’ Compensation is one of the most important insurance coverages that a food truck owner must purchase for his or her employees. Workers’ Compensation is administered on a state-by-state basis and is required in most states to replace wages and medical benefits for employees that were injured on the job or in the course of employment.

workers comp form

As an owner/officer of your business, you can choose to be included or excluded in your Workers’ Compensation policy. However, you must provide coverage for all part-time and full-time employees. If you have a 1099 Independent Contractor Employee, the contractor must purchase their own Workers’ Compensation insurance which must be included in their contract requirements. Most food truck employees do not qualify as a 1099 employee, but consult your attorney or accountant to clarify. Miscoding an employee as an independent contractor can lead to penalties for non-Workers’ Compensation coverage and non-paid payroll taxes. Failing to provide Workers’ Compensation insurance in most states is a criminal offense that can lead to expensive fines and or imprisonment. California employers can study this site for further information:http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/faqs.html. Employers in states outside of California can turn to their official state’s website.

Workers’ Compensation premiums are calculated by the class code rate (per $100 of payroll) and the amount of gross wages paid to the employee. As a business owner, you must provide an estimated annual wage amount at the beginning of a policy. At the end of a policy, an audit will be performed to determine the actual premium due based on actual wages paid. In order to perform this audit, a business owner is required to provide names of the partners and ownerships, their employees’ names, titles, job duties, actual gross wages and quarterly IRS 941 reports for all four quarters during the coverage period. All employees on the policy must be on payroll and reported on the 941 report.

Paychex provides payroll and human resources services to food trucks that need assistance in calculating, paying and filing payroll taxes. Paychex works with CateringTruckInsurance.com to prepare 941 quarterly reports to carriers and monitor Workers’ Compensation premiums throughout a policy. CateringTruckInsurance.com has developed a strong relationship with payroll consultant Grace Ogata from Paychex, Inc. Grace has experience in working with food trucks and is ready to help you.

Grace Ogata - Paychex Consultant
Phone (626) 551-8634 Email: gogata@paychex.com

 

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There are many problems that food truck owners can run into while they are driving around the cities they operate in. One of the most common is damage to your windshield caused by rocks or debris that is thrown up from the road. There are numerous ways to correct this problem, but knowing if it is something that can be done inexpensively or even free is the first place you should start.

cracked windshield

The best way to find out if your food truck insurance policy covers the replacement of your windshield is by asking your insurer how they cover the process of changing the glass on your truck. Besides knowing what your policy covers you also need to understand the type of damage your window has suffered and if it simply needs repairs as opposed to total replacement.

A good way to gauge the damage is to look at the size of the cracks, if it is larger than your hand, it needs to be replaced.

Any cracks that cross on the driver’s side also require windshield replacement, if the crack is smaller than your hand, then you can have if filled by a mobile service.

Can my windshield be fixed?

There are a lot of companies who can fix your glass so well that you won’t know it was previously damaged. Having a crack in your glass filled is the best way to avert a full crack on your windshield. The cost of filling in a chip with resin is a lot cheaper that having your entire windshield replaced.

Often, your insurance company will have the chip or crack repaired at no cost to you to prevent further damage and save on more expensive repairs.

Will a replacement be OEM quality?

If the damage to your windshield is severe enough to warrant replacement, you will be given a new piece of glass. The quality of the glass depends on the amount of coverage you have in your part replacement policy. There are additional options to assure that your replacement is OEM quality.

The majority of food truck insurers have allowances for aftermarket replacement parts. While similar to original quality parts, they are much more affordable. This is a cost effect way for nsurance companies to manage expenses over the population.

In the even only OEM part were used, insurance would not be affordable for the general population. There are a few ways to assure you get OEM quality replacement part for your vehicle, you can;

  • Personally pay the balance from your own funds to cover the price gap of your policy. You can then ask the repair service for original quality glass. Typically the difference is a few hundred dollars, but you will have peace of mind.
  • When starting your policy, request that all of the replacement parts on your food truck be OEM quality, in this case, you will always receive original quality parts without placing special request. The premiums with this type of rider are typically higher.

Keep in mind that not every insurance company has an allowance for original quality replacement parts. It’s important to ask questions and shop around before you finalize any insurance policy.

Do replacement windshields leak? What can be done if I have seam leakage?

Seam leakage is the top concern among vehicle owners who have had a windshield replaced. The majority of windshield replacements, be they OEM or aftermarket glass, don’t have problems with leakage.

The important thing is to assure that your replacement is done by a licensed garage that has plenty of experience in windshield replacement. There is still a small chance that you could run into trouble, but there are also steps you can take to protect yourself.

Ask for a warrantee on the work prior to having the windshield installed. Most reputable companies will offer a guarantee on their work and insurance companies offer guarantees on their approved body shops.

Before you get the work done, call your claims agent to get a direct referral to the insurance companies listed body shop for repairs. If there is a problem with the glass, you can report the issues to the insurance agency, but you also have to seek recourse from the body shop directly.

Advice for replacing your windshield

Before the work starts, ask the body shop if a primer is used on the surface. This is important since it get your truck ready for the new windshield being installed, since priming a car is expensive, many body shops skip this step without informing the car owner.

In addition, it’s important that the person installing the glass wears protective gear on their hands. Any oils, even ones from people’s bodies can cause problems with the final adhering process between the metal and the glass. This is one of the number one causes for leaks in new windshields.

Can the work be done at the commissary?

Windshield replacement is a very simple claim to process. Mobile service is offered and often cost less than taking your truck into the shop. Most companies have a mobile team that can come out to meet you at your commissary or in some cases at the current location you are operating from, the only time that an on-site job can’t be done is during snow or rain.

 

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Your food truck is the backbone that keeps your mobile business running. When it comes to insuring your mobile bistro, it can be difficult to distinguish insurance facts from myths and buying insurance without knowing the facts can cost you big bucks in damages or downtime.

insurance myths

We have compiled a number of some common food truck insurance myths and facts. Use them to make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your food truck.

Myth: Downtime following an accident is annoying, but won’t significantly affect your bottom line.

Fact: If your truck is out of commission for 30 days, your business could only have a 50 percent chance of survival. Make sure that your insurance company will provide a rental vehicle or downtime payments to help you get back on the road quickly following a claim.

Myth: It is cheaper to cancel your insurance for stored vehicles if you have a seasonal business.

Fact: Not necessarily. If you cancel your insurance policy, your stored vehicles won’t be protected. A comprehensive-only policy provides coverage for businesses that don’t need liability coverage during certain months, but want basic protection against incidents like vandalism, fire, theft, and acts of God. This is ideal for food truck owners that shut down operations during their off-season.

Plus, a comprehensive-only policy provides continuous insurance. If you drop your insurance completely, you may pay significantly more to get a new policy when your peak season rolls around because most insurance companies want to see proof of continuous coverage prior to offering their best rate.

Myth: All insurance companies offer 24/7 service.

Fact: Many insurance companies are only available during their regular office hours, which can make these issues difficult to complete when you need them.

  • Filing a claim
  • Obtaining a Certificate of Insurance
  • Paying bills

Before you purchase a policy for your food truck make sure an insurance company will be available when you need them.

Wonder if one of your perceptions about truck insurance is myth or fact? Talk to a local food truck insurance agent. They should be able to answer those questions and help you determine which coverage(s) are right for your business.

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