What insurance is required for a food truck in Rhode Island?

Typically, Rhode Island food truck owners pay $105/mo for a business owner's policy that includes general liability and property insurance. Food truck insurance rates in RI will vary and are based the value of your equipment and food truck location.

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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...

  • Because a Rhode Island food truck is a mobile business, you must comply with the state’s commercial auto insurance requirements
  • Rhode Island food truck businesses may also need to comply with other business insurance requirements as well as vehicle lender insurance requirements
  • Typically, Rhode Island food truck owners pay $105/mo for a business owner’s policy that includes general liability and property insurance
  • If you bundle all of your commercial auto and business insurance products together with a single provider, you may qualify for a sizable bundled coverage discount through select insurance companies

With Rhode Island’s incredible waterfront views and other gorgeous landscapes, it makes sense to take advantage of these views with a food truck business.

Many local residents thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to dine casually outdoors with food truck meals and snacks, and you may be eager to start profiting from your recipes with your own food truck business.

All businesses, however, have their risks, and it is imperative that you create a business plan outlining potential risks before you serve your first customer.

Common food truck risks include the following:

  • car accidents
  • wildlife run-ins
  • sick customers
  • injured employees

For many of these risky events, your food truck business in Rhode Island could be on the hook for the related expenses.

Paying for these expenses out of the blue can seem burdensome and even financially traumatic, but rest assured that insurance coverage is available to help you pay for these possible expenses.

If you are thinking about buying a few different coverage types for your Rhode Island food truck, you need to identify the premium costs for each insurance product you desire.

Consider the benefits associated with bundling your coverage together to use a possible bundled insurance discount, and spend a few hours shopping around with leading insurance companies in this state to find the best rates available.

Compare car insurance quotes quickly and easily by using our free rate tool above. Enter your ZIP code to get started.

What Coverage is Available for Food Trucks in Rhode Island?

A food truck is a unique business type because it is a restaurant as well as mobile business. These businesses usually must comply with state auto insurance requirements as well as various business and employee insurance requirements.

However, there are optional insurance products that could benefit your food truck business in Rhode Island as well. Analyzing the coverage options will help you to set up the right coverage for all of your needs.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Some food truck owners intend to park their truck on the same plot of land and have no intentions of moving it for years, but most Rhode Island food trucks are driven on public roads regularly.

These latter vehicles must be adequately insured in accordance with the state’s commercial auto coverage laws. The minimum requirements offer liability-related benefits, and you may desire optional auto coverage that pays for your own vehicle’s repair costs as well.

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What is Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance?

You do not have to buy a food truck in order to operate this type of business, but rented or leased commercial vehicles also need to be properly insured.

A hired or non-owned policy for commercial vehicles can help you to comply with commercial vehicle auto coverage regulations in this state if you are driving a rented or leased vehicle.

Collision Coverage

Collision benefits are not required per Rhode Island’s auto insurance laws, but many lenders require you to buy collision or comprehensive auto coverage while you carry a loan balance on food truck financing.

Notably, collision food truck insurance is only beneficial to you if you are in a collision, and it will not provide benefits for any other type of event that damages your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage

When a lender does not require collision insurance on a financed food truck in Rhode Island, it typically requires comprehensive insurance as an alternative.

Comprehensive insurance covers non-collision events such as:

  • theft
  • severe storms
  • vehicle fires

General Liability

Some of the risks that your food truck business in Rhode Island faces are associated with auto-related events, but others are business-related events that are not covered by a typical auto insurance policy.

Business liability insurance should be purchased for any type of business that you plan to operate, and this is particularly true when you plan to serve the general public in a food-related capacity.

Property Insurance

A Rhode Island food truck may need one or two different types of property insurance, but neither type is required by law.

Personal property insurance offered through your commercial auto coverage offers benefits for your appliances and other valuable items that are located inside your truck.

On the other hand, you may also need to buy real estate insurance if you own the land where you park your truck. 

This coverage may offer liability benefits as well as financial benefits for any damage that be incurred for the site-built improvements on the property, such as for a driveway or parking area.

Workers’ Compensation

Through the course of daily activities on your food truck, employees face many potential risks and dangers, and you are responsible for dealing with and potentially paying for any workplace expenses they incur.

Many food truck businesses that hire employees regularly are required to buy workers’ compensation coverage.

This type of mandatory business insurance pays financial benefits related to burns, cuts, and other employee-related injuries as well as compensation for lost wages while your workers recover from an injury.

Umbrella Policy

Before you launch a Rhode Island food truck business, take a closer look at the employee-related benefits available through an umbrella policy.

A true umbrella policy also offers other benefits that your food truck business can take advantage of. It may be helpful to determine if the benefits of umbrella coverage would be advantageous for your business before you finalize your insurance shopping plans.

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Bundling Your Rhode Island Food Truck Insurance

If your Rhode Island food truck business is like most other food truck businesses in this state, you will buy multiple auto policies as well as multiple business or employee policies.

In some cases, you may be able to buy multiple policies from a single commercial auto and business provider, and you may be able to qualify for unique savings on your purchases by doing so.

This bundling is a convenient way to save money on the coverage your food truck needs, but understand that the discounted rates are not always the most affordable insurance products available for a small and growing food services businesses.

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