What insurance is required for a food truck in New Jersey?

Food truck insurance in New Jersey typically consists of an owner's policy that includes general liability and property insurance. Consider an umbrella policy for your food truck to save money.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • New Jersey requires different food truck coverage for different areas
  • Planning ahead for your insurance on your food truck may help you save money
  • Your food truck will need to have basic necessities before you can open it

Food trucks can be a very lucrative business for those who want to work for themselves, but you must understand you are running a business.

You need to be sure you’ve planned your business, prepared the things you need and have the right insurance coverage for your food truck.

One item of business you must take care of is getting proper insurance for your truck. Compare quotes right here to find the best provider for your situation. Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool above to get started.

A Business Plan

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You will need a business plan before you can even think about starting your food truck. Consider each of these things to write into your plan:

  • Short-term goal for your food truck.
  • How to make sure your food truck is successful.
  • Cost of the food truck and food necessities.
  • Total price of insurance

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Food Truck Necessities

While the requirements are different across the United States, New Jersey will require you have, at least two sinks in your food truck. One will be used for prep and the other will be used for handwashing.

Aside from that, you should consider what you will be cooking and serving. You may need the following equipment:

  • cash register
  • stove
  • fryer
  • refrigerator

The entire food truck needs to be compliant with local and state laws. If you are going to travel to different areas of New Jersey, it is a good idea to be sure you are in compliance of all laws.

While each area of New Jersey will have different laws for those who are running a food truck, state laws will all require you have:

  • Safe serving certifications.
  • Hygiene procedures in place and displayed.
  • Refrigerator for all foods that can be perishable.

The biggest reason you need to have auto insurance for your food truck in New Jersey is that it is the law. You will need to have your food truck covered to certain limits.

The insurance will protect your truck in case something happens to it while you are traveling or while you are on the road.

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Getting Your New Jersey Food Truck Covered

You will need to have your truck covered by auto insurance, but you need to also have it covered by a business policy. New Jersey has specific laws that dictate the amount of coverage you need under each of the policies you have.

When you’re comparison shopping for different auto insurance, be sure you find a policy for commercial auto insurance.

Commercial auto insurance?

Like your personal auto insurance, commercial auto insurance will cover your food truck if it sustains damage while on the road or while it is parked.

You cannot use a personal policy for food truck coverage in New Jersey because the limits for commercial auto insurance are much higher.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage on your food truck in New Jersey will cover natural disasters, theft and broken glass.

Hired Car

Most food trucks have more than one person working. While you may not need to worry about hired car insurance when you are first starting out, consider a policy for if you have an employee.

If your employees are going to run to get supplies or anything in their own car or your personal car, the hired car insurance will protect them.

Collision

If you hit something or someone in your food truck, the collision part of your policy will cover it. This is nearly identical to collision coverage you would have on your personal vehicle, but the limits in New Jersey are higher for commercial collisions.

Covering Your Food Truck Business

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The auto insurance policy will protect your food truck, but you need to be prepared to protect the business that is your food truck. There are several coverage options you will notice while you are shopping for insurance.

Property Coverage

You may think of your truck as the only property your business owns and it is safe because it is covered by auto insurance. What auto insurance doesn’t cover is the property inside of the truck.

Property coverage will cover the things your business owns inside of the truck like the equipment you use to cook food. It will also cover you if something malfunctions with your property leaving you unable to earn money from the food truck.

General Liability

If you, your business or someone who represents your business damages another person or property, general liability insurance will cover it.

While general liability insurance is a necessity for all New Jersey businesses, you will still need other policies to cover specific problems that can happen with your business.

Umbrella Insurance

Most insurance companies will offer you an umbrella policy. This will cover your food truck and employees if something catastrophic happens in New Jersey to your business. It is a supplemental insurance coverage option.

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Employee Insurance

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Employee-specific insurance policies will protect your employees if something happens on the job. This coverage will also protect you from being sued if something does happen to one of your employees.

Most people have heard of workman’s compensation, but not all understand it. This option is a policy that protects your employees from physical harm while they are on the job.

It is a federal law to have this type of insurance.

As soon as you secure one employee, worker’s compensation insurance will protect you. It will cover:

  • Phsyical harm brought to employees as a result of work
  • Mental damage as a result of work
  • Any medical treatment your employees will need

Putting it Together

When you’re comparison shopping for insurance coverage, always ask about bundling your New Jersey insurance policies.

Bundling can help you save money no matter what type of coverage you are requesting.

The biggest problem with bundling insurance policies is that you may be required to purchase more than just the New Jersey minimum coverages. Talking to many different insurance providers will give you an idea of what bundling can mean for you.

Shopping around, bundling insurance plans and preparing for your business can all help you save money for your food truck. If you want to get the most for your money, always check with other food insurance providers to get exactly what you need.

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