According to research by the Local Government Association, Christmas markets attract out of town visitors into cities, promote spending in bars, restaurants and hotels and contributed as much £500m to the economy in 2017.
Van trading at Christmas markets can be a lucrative business for a great side-line if you want to earn some extra cash for the festive season. But you need to be properly covered by van insurance and market trader insurance before you start to sell, otherwise you could be spending Christmas behind bars instead of celebrating in one.
Serving Food from a Van
Whether you use your van to serve bratwurst to festive shoppers or glühwein at a farmer’s market, you’ll need the correct mobile catering van insurance to cover business risks. As your van remains an on-road motor vehicle, you’ll need van insurance, usually comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party only. This covers you in exactly the same way as a normal motor policy if you have an accident or if anything is stolen (or should that be stolen?)
Remember that ordinary vehicle insurance won’t cover hot food vans because the van is carrying items such as flammable gas bottles, griddles, fridges and microwaves on board. It’s important that you get the right type of market trader insurance that is specifically intended for catering vehicles. You will also need to check that your licence is in the correct category too, as your food truck could be in the HGV category (if it’s over 3.5 tonnes).
Recently, there has been an increasing trend in catering trailers. These are specially built or adapted trailers repurposed to be used as pop-up kitchens or shops. Towed trailer insurance protects you against the cost of any damage you may cause to property or members of the public while towing a catering trailer, both on the road and on private land. It may also cover those valuable fixtures and fittings.
Within a market trader insurance policy, you can then include the other business cover you might need, including employers’ liability insurance, stock insurance and legal expenses insurance for extra surety.
Other things to consider are:
- Stock cover – to safeguard against the cost of replacing those posh sausages in the event of a fridge malfunction
- Cash protection – to cover the cost of any potential losses through theft
- Legal protection – to cover you against legal costs
Trading from a Van at Christmas
In addition to your normal vehicle insurance, you will also need:
Public liability insurance
Public liability cover isn’t a legal necessity but is a prudent precaution if the business involves contact with any third party. This covers you against legal costs and injury compensation claims if you’re blamed for injury to the public or for property damage.
Business premises insurance
Usually the pitch landlord’s insurance covers the space itself, but it is vital for a tenant to check this beforehand. If there is no insurance cover in place, the tenant could be liable for any loss that occurs while they're occupying the space.
Employers’ liability insurance
Employers’ liability business insurance is compulsory for pop-ups that have one or more employees. It protects the interests of staff and supplements the company’s own health and safety procedures.
Business contents insurance
While business contents insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it can protect the contents and fixtures of the pop-up, as well as any stock stored therein. Protecting stock is essential with a pop-up which is often open to the elements.
Tradex’s market trader insurance policy is designed for all types of catering vans, whether static, mobile or seasonal. It can cover your liabilities and your equipment including any produce you keep in the van. It offers cover whether you are just using your vehicle on a film set or at a stadium, or you’re running a pop-up cafe.
We also arrange cover for new ventures and adapted vehicles and can offer group policies for other vehicles you have, including personally owned ones and those you use to deliver catering trailers.