Common Claims and Risks in Brewing and Distilling

If you own a brewing and distilling business, you’re probably familiar with some of the hazards, including faulty equipment, moving parts, packaging defects, hot surfaces and liquids, product recalls and liquor liability. Some of these risks are unique to the brewing industry, and it’s important to have the right type of coverage. This is because standard business insurance policies may not cover all of your business’s specific risks. Let’s take a look at some of the common claims and risks in the brewing industry.

Faulty Equipment

In order for beer to be brewed and stored successfully, all of the equipment must function properly. If a machine or cooler were to malfunction, like inserting too much carbonation into the beverage, it could ruin a batch of beer or wine.

Moving Machinery Parts

Many of the machines in a brewery have moving parts and are operated via electricity, including the mills, keg filters, augers and grain hoppers. You may also use forklifts and other equipment to help you move your inventory. All of these machines can pose hazards in the workplace. Forklifts can accidentally be driven into products, racks or people. The moving parts on the machines can injure workers, and if the machine isn’t properly shut down for maintenance, employees may receive electric shocks.

Hazardous Working Conditions

Employees may be subjected to certain hazardous conditions like wet floors and objects in pathways. These hazards can lead to slips and falls. Additionally, if employees don’t wear the proper safety equipment, they could be burned by hot surfaces, steam and hot liquids.

Hazardous Chemicals

Breweries have a lot of hazardous chemicals, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sanitizers and cleaning compounds. Pressurized chemicals, like carbon dioxide and nitrogen, can cause explosions if they’re not properly stored and handled. Cleaning chemicals can be caustic and toxic.

Fires and Explosions

Breweries and wineries ferment grain and fruits in order to produce ethanol alcohol. This is known as drinking alcohol or simply alcohol. Unfortunately, it’s also highly flammable and the vapor can cause explosions if it leaks. Breweries can also experience explosions due to the kegs freezing and exploding in the coolers.

Lack of Ergonomics

The brewery industry isn’t well-known as an ergonomically friendly environment. Employees often have to stand in awkward positions, perform repetitive motions and lift heavy items. This can lead to workplace injuries, like sprains and strains, carpel tunnel, tennis elbow and back pain and injuries.

Packaging Problems

The bottles that hold the beer can be subject to defects, especially if the wrong caps are used or the caps aren’t properly sealed. When this happens, the ends of the bottles can chip or break, and the contents inside can spoil or become moldy. Bottles can also become broken in transit if the packaging isn’t doesn’t provide the right level of cushioning and protection.

Product Contamination

In order to produce beer and wine that is fit for human consumption, the equipment that processes the ingredients and brews the beverages must be clean and sanitized on a regular basis. If the sanitizing processes are incorrect or skipped, it could ruin the product.

Liquor Liability

If the brewery or winery also includes a tap room, it increases the risk of someone drinking too much and then getting into their car to drive home. Breweries and wineries need to exercise extra vigilance to ensure that no one is over-served.

Mitigating Risk with Brewery Insurance in Spokane

If you own a brewery, you should have brewery insurance, which helps mitigate certain risks. Brewery insurance policies are designed to cover micro and craft breweries, wineries and distilleries. Coverage typically includes commercial property, general liability and business income, which is helpful if you have to temporarily and unexpectedly shut down.

Breweries, wineries and distilleries can also add extra protection to their commercial insurance policy.

  • Enhancements for General Liability – Manufacturers may be able to get an enhanced liability policy that increases their protections for general liability, property damage and errors and omissions. This can be expanded to cover issues with vendors and delivery.
  • Errors and Omissions for Manufacturers – Offers insurance if your product has a defect or if your product causes a financial loss to a third party due to negligence, errors or omissions.
  • Product Recall Insurance – If you have to recall a product, this coverage can help cover some of the expenses.
  • Liquor Liability – If your brewery also includes a tap room, this insurance helps cover the costs associated with a patron leaving the premises intoxicated and causing damage or injuries to other people or their property.

Brewery Insurance with Boyd Insurance Brokerage Inc.

If you own a brewery, winery or distillery, our agents at Boyd Insurance Brokerage Inc. can help you find the right types of coverage for your business. We understand the unique risks that breweries have, which gives us the ability to find insurance policies and additional coverages to help you mitigate your financial risk. We offer brewery insurance, equipment liability insurance, workers compensation, liquor liability and commercial car insurance.

To learn more about our brewery insurance and to get a quote, call us at 509-340-2693.

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