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What Types of Insurance Does an Ice Cream Truck Need?

What Types of Insurance Does an Ice Cream Truck Need?

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What Types of Insurance Does an Ice Cream Truck Need?

Ice Cream Truck Insurance Quotes

Costs for business insurance can vary greatly, and getting insurance quotes from multiple companies is recommended in order to get the best pricing.

Coverwallet and Hiscox offer easy business insurance quotes at affordable prices.

What Types of Insurance Does an Ice Cream Truck Need?

Ice cream trucks are a summertime staple, but many people don’t realize that these mobile businesses come with a unique set of insurance needs. In addition to the standard commercial liability and vehicle insurance, ice cream trucks must also be insured for product liability. This is because ice cream is a perishable product that can easily spoil if it is not kept at the proper temperature. As a result, any ice cream truck owner must make sure that their insurance policy will cover them in the event that someone becomes ill after eating one of their products. In addition, it is also a good idea to have coverage for lost or stolen inventory, as this can be a significant loss for a small business.

Related: Guide to starting an ice cream truck

What Are Some Risks for an Ice Cream Truck?

Since ice cream trucks are mobile businesses that cater to many people, there is an increased risk of hazards. Some of those risk factors include:

  • Customer illnesses or injuries
  • Car accidents
  • Sudden loss of business
  • Employee injuries

Customer Illnesses or Injuries

Since ice cream trucks sell food and drink, there is a risk of customer illness or injury from consuming contaminated food or spoiled products. Customer injuries can also occur from allergens, improper storage, and foreign objects found in the food. In addition, bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, are foodborne illnesses that can cause severe illness and may result in a lawsuit.

Some causes of food spoilage or contamination include:

  • Poor cleaning procedures
  • Mechanical failure of refrigeration equipment
  • Ill employees who work while they are contagious


Robberies are problematic for ice cream trucks. Several factors increase the risk of robberies, but the main reason is that ice cream trucks primarily operate on a cash basis. Employee dishonesty is another problem that the business may encounter.

Traffic Accidents

Car accidents can lead to expensive third-party injuries and damages. In addition to liability risks, physical damage to the ice cream trucks is sometimes a more significant risk. The ice cream trucks are a large asset, and when they are unusable, the business cannot generate income. Damage not only reduces revenue but also leads to expensive repairs. For example, ice cream trucks often have custom-built parts, meaning repairs take longer and cost more.

Aside from collision damage, physical damage can also occur from fires, theft, vandalism, wind, and hail. Poor maintenance can also lead to damage; for example, old equipment may fail, worn tires may blow, and grease-covered exhaust fans may catch fire.

Sudden Loss of Business

Most times, a loss in business occurs when the ice cream truck is inoperable. Vehicle damage is a common reason for lost business since a damaged ice cream truck cannot get set up to sell product.

In addition, a loss of business can also occur from losing access to locations. Although ice cream trucks are mobile, many ice cream trucks rotate between the same areas, drawing repeat clientele. A loss in location availability may result in lost customers and the need to apply for permits or licenses in new jurisdictions.

Employee Injuries

An ice cream truck’s employees may suffer injuries from slips, trips, and falls. Additionally, they can be injured from scooping ice cream or hurt their back while loading the truck.


What Types of Insurance Policies Should an Ice Cream Truck Owner Consider?

Although many types of hazards risk the business’s financial well-being, there are also many types of coverage that protect the business. Some of the insurance policies that an ice cream truck should consider include:

  • General liability insurance
  • Crime insurance
  • Commercial automobile insurance
  • Food contamination insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance

General Liability Insurance

General liability coverage is a core business owner’s policy because it protects against many liabilities. For example, general liability for products and completed operations insures the business against claims of bodily injury or property damage that occur from the business’s products or actions.

Many landlords will require a general liability policy at a minimum for an ice cream truck to use their lot.

Fortunately, a general liability policy covers claim expenses, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage repairs
  • Legal fees
  • Settlements

Crime Insurance

Crime insurance insures a business’s money against cases such as fraud, embezzlement, and theft. For example, a crime insurance policy will not cover thefts by owners, partners, or executives but does protect against employee or third-party theft.

Other insurance policies cover the physical damage that thefts cause, but typically, lost cash is not covered without a crime insurance policy. Businesses that deal with cash transactions or have cash that passes between employees benefit from crime insurance since cash is a common target for theft and fraud. 

Commercial Auto Insurance

A standard commercial automobile insurance policy includes two primary coverages: liability insurance and physical damage insurance. An ice cream truck is exposed to both risks and needs a policy that covers both exposures.

First, the liability coverage insures the business for claims of bodily injury and property damage that result from at-fault car accidents. A commercial automobile policy covers claim expenses up to an agreed policy limit. Policy limits are variable but should be adequate to protect the business’s assets. Usually, the per-incident coverage limit starts at $500,000 or $1 million of coverage.

Next, the physical damage coverage insures the business’s vehicles and/or food trailers for collision and non-collision damage. This line of coverage is essential for ice cream trucks since the trucks are what drive revenue for the business.

Physical damage insurance covers hazards up to an agreed policy limit, typically determined by the vehicle’s value, including any customization. In addition, physical damage coverage usually has a collision deductible and a second deductible for non-collision damages (i.e., hail, falling objects, theft, and vandalism).

Food Contamination Insurance

Ice cream truck owners can purchase insurance coverage to protect themselves from food contamination. Regardless of whether you are making your own ice cream or purchasing it from a manufacturer, should your business be impacted due to food contamination, there will be real costs for cleaning equipment and replacing spoiled food.

Workers’ Compensation

A workers’ compensation policy covers an injured employee’s expenses, including the following costs:

  • Medical payments
  • Lost income
  • Ongoing rehabilitation care
  • Disability income
  • Funeral expenses

Many states require that businesses with employees carry workers’ compensation policies; however, regardless of the state’s requirements, a business with employees benefits from this policy. The policy covers the employee’s expenses, but it also protects the business from expensive lawsuits.

How Much Does Ice Cream Truck Insurance Cost?

The insurance costs for ice cream trucks depend on their size and scope of operations. For example, an ice cream truck with a fleet of trucks, multiple employees, and many customers will need higher coverage amounts than an owner-operated, single ice cream truck that operates seasonally.

When an insurance carrier writes an insurance policy (meaning, the policy contract is customized specifically to the business), the insurance company will consider many factors. For instance, an insurance company may consider the following elements:
– The number of business-owned ice cream trucks
– Any customization of the ice cream truck
– The number of employees on the payroll
– The loss prevention measures in place
– Any past or current lawsuits or insurance claims

As coverage amounts and rates vary between insurance companies, the best way to determine costs is by contacting multiple companies for a quote. This way, quotes can be compared and selected based on the best coverage limits and pricing.

What Types of Insurance Does an Ice Cream Truck Need?

What Types of Insurance Does an Ice Cream Truck Need?

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