McLaren Vale (SA) is home to numerous vineyards and fine wineries. Many of them are operated in small to medium scale by artisan families and companies that use traditional wine-making processes to create high-quality wines.
In fact, McLaren Vale is one of Australia’s top wine-making regions. And for over 180 years, McLaren Vale has maintained an unparalleled reputation for producing excellent wine.
But despite its prolific growth, the business of wine-making remains a complicated and delicate operation. If business owners aren’t too careful, wineries can experience interruptions in production that can cause the whole business to close down.
That is why, even though wine-making is viewed as a stable business in McLaren Vale, business insurance is a requirement for true success.
Here are some types of business insurance that can protect your winery business:
1. Business Interruption Insurance
Different types of insurance policies can be purchased to insure the different aspects of winery process. Business interruption insurance helps protect your business from the after-effects of calamities.
For example, natural disasters such as storms may destroy your vineyard crops and temporarily halt wine production. With business interruption insurance, you can protect your business’ financial health by covering the monthly costs associated with normal operations. This includes paying employee wages, rentals and utility bills.
It is important to note that not all types of incidents are covered by this insurance. Coverage is generally limited to natural, unforeseen and/or unintentional disasters. Man-made disasters, even some natural ones, are subject to rigorous investigation before any claims can be made.
2. Spoilage of Stock Insurance
This type of insurance specifically provides protection to businesses in the food and beverage industry, including wineries. Spoilage of stock insurance covers costs and damages caused by unforeseen circumstances that lead to the stock spoilage.
Example of this is the breakdown of machinery used in the refrigeration or preservation of perishable stock used in production (grapes for wines).
Though the insurance can’t replenish or replace the stock lost due to spoilage, it can cover the costs associated with machine repair and replacement. That’s why it is commonly purchased along with the machinery breakdown insurance to guard against machine-related losses and damages.
3. Machinery Breakdown Insurance
Machinery breakdown insurance protects your business from losses associated with breakdown of machinery and other production equipment. This generally covers the costs associated with repairs and maintenance procedures.
4. Burglary/Theft Insurance
This insurance protects your business from losses due to burglary or theft of cash, stock, equipment and other valuable business property. This is often paired up with a public liability insurance to guard against threats from the public in general.
However, property loss due to negligence may not be covered by this insurance. Example is the failure to secure doors, windows, cages, safes and cash registers in the business premises. That’s why claims can only be made after an investigation from the police and the insurance company.
5. Public Liability Insurance
Public liability insurance is the type that protects against damages and claims made by the public regarding your business’ products and services in general. This insurance is often paired with burglary/theft insurance and/or products liability insurance for optimum protection.
6. Products Liability Insurance
The products liability insurance deals with damages or losses associated with claims of product malfunction that lead to physical harm or property damage.
An example of this is when someone claims that your wine has caused them to become sick. The insurance can cover the costs and damages associated with this claim including hospital expenses and damage control.
7. Motor Fleet Insurance
This type of insurance is a must for businesses that own ten or more motor vehicles. It can cover transport vehicles, mobile equipment, company vehicles and even personal vehicles of the business owners. The insurance protects you from the losses and damages related to the breakdown, loss or theft of any of these vehicles.
An example of this is when a company operates vineyards that deliver stocks to wineries using heavy transport or trucking vehicles. If these vehicles suddenly breakdown or get stolen, it may halt the delivery operations and the business may incur losses. This insurance can help you by covering costs associated with vehicle repair and replacement.
8. Key Person Insurance
In many fine wineries, there is always a “master” wine-maker that serves as the core of the business. Without this person, the whole business may fall apart or the quality of wine products may decline so you lose customer trust and loyalty.
So if this person suddenly becomes sick or gets injured, you know this will greatly affect your production. With the key person insurance, you can prepare for or cope with losses associated with the sudden absence or loss of this key person.
Insurances That Help Protect Your Business’ Growth
There are also other insurances that focus on the administrative and management side of your business.
Aside from purchasing the above-mentioned business insurances to protect your winery operations, you can supplement your business’ growth with the following insurances:
- Association Liability Insurance
- Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance (for large organizations)
- Management Liability Insurance
- Professional Identity Insurance
- Tax Audit Insurance
- Tools of Trade Insurance
- Cyber Protection Insurance
Your business insurance policies will generally depend on the nature and scale of your winery operations. That’s why you need the help and advice of a trusted McLaren Vale insurance broker to ensure that you have the right insurance coverage for your business.
What to Look for in Your McLaren Vale Insurance Broker
Since McLaren Vale is a prominent wine-making region, there is a number of insurance brokers that winery owners can consult with.
However, you have to consider that not all insurance brokers are the same. There are brokers that may talk you into purchasing insurance that you may not need just so they can pull money from you.
To make sure that your business gets the right help, you should know what makes a good insurance broker before you decide. Here are some qualities and services that you need to look for in an insurance broker:
- They have well-rounded insurance professionals who have deep understanding and experience in the industry.
The best help usually comes from the people who know your business closely. Your insurance broker should have first-hand experience with the winery business and know about every step involved in the winery process. That way, they can better understand your insurance needs and help you get better coverage for your business.
- They provide a comprehensive insurance claims assistance.
Many insurance brokers help you with insurance claims by processing only what you ask for and after you’ve completed the paperwork. An exceptional insurance broker, on the other hand, considers your circumstances more deeply and initiates to explore more options so you can ask for a better insurance claim.
They provide comprehensive assistance involving the following steps:
- Contact your insurer and arrange for an assessor whenever needed.
- Advise you on how to prepare claims and gather the necessary information.
- Explore with you all the possible claims that may apply for your circumstances so you can get optimal benefits.
- Act as your advocate in the process of making an insurance claim so that you get what you are really entitled to.
- They charge you only what you need to actually pay for.
Many insurance brokers charge fees for their insurance claims assistance even if your insurance policy already covers the claim preparation costs. They make it look like “extra services” outside the terms and conditions of your insurance policy so you think that the fees are legitimate.
But that’s not a trustworthy practice. If your insurance policy says that your claim preparation costs are covered, then it’s covered. You shouldn’t ever have to worry about extra service fees just because the broker feels they’re doing you a big favor.
- They encourage you to purchase only the necessary insurance policies for your business.
Many brokers insist that you purchase as many insurance policies as you can because they think that’s the best way to protect your business.
Although it could be viewed as a prudent practice, it’s not financially practical and fruitful. And a good insurance broker knows that well. That’s why they only encourage you to purchase what is deemed necessary for your business.
They also encourage you to update your insurance policies whenever your business goes through significant changes such as product expansion, location transfer and massive organizational changes.
- They implement your insurance program only after a thorough analysis of your business’ standing.
Some insurance brokers implement insurance programs based from the paperwork you’ve accomplished. But the best insurance brokers always dig deeper into your business’ standing in order to identify any special needs that you may need to be covered. Or to determine if your circumstances don’t really apply to an insurance policy that you want.
McLaren Vale Business Insurance: Where to Get Help
Fleurieu and Hills Insurance has over 50 years of experience in the insurance industry. They are dedicated to providing services that will help small and medium businesses—particularly wineries—get the right insurance program and coverage. For a free consultation, please call us today or visit our contact page.