The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Needing information for small business insurance to teach baking in home

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joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Needing information for small business insurance to teach baking in home

I am up and running with my cottage food baking business, and now I'm dealing with the nitty gritty of a small business.  I'm registered with the Dept. of Health, have my Servsafe food handler certificate, and I have clients for my breads.  I also have food liability insurance (FLIP) as a vendor in a small baking business at home (Class A in Calif.).  However, I still need insurance for teaching bread-baking in both my home and a student's home.  Does anyone have suggestions as to a good, reasonable insurance company?  Thanks!

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I'm considering doing exactly what you are planning to do when I move to Davis, CA in the summer.  I guess it would be good to know if we're in the same town.

Meanwhile, where did you find the information you have about getting the California (and local?) permission to teach and sell?

Richard

 

 

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

I hope this can help, Richard.  I purchased "FLIP" insurance (www.fliprogram.com)--Food Liability Insurance Program, just before launching my cottage food business.  It's a group program, so it's reasonable ($299/year).  It's good coverage for selling bread, either direct sales (to individuals, farmers' market/community food festivals, etc.--type A permit in Calif.) or indirect sales (to groceries, cafes, etc.--type B permit).  I registered with the Dept. of Environmental Health here in Santa Rosa (Sonoma County permit).  You will have to contact the Dept. of Health in whatever county Davis is in (apparently counties differ in the details).  I then took and passed the food handler course with Servesafe (National Restaurant Assn.--www.servsafe.com).  I live in the county rather than the city, so I am not required to have a business license.  I incorporated my name in my business title, so I didn't have to publish a DBA in the newspaper.  

But there's always more than you think there is.  After I purchased the FLIP policy (I tend to be impulsive), I was told it would not cover my teaching--too much liability involved, students possibly taking teacher's instructions home and something happening such as burns, damage to equipment, etc.  So I put my teaching on hold.  I only intend to teach perhaps monthly, to small groups (3-6), either my home or theirs.  So I'm now looking for coverage that won't break my bank (account).  Another thing, be sure your homeowner's policy covers the business.  Ours (with Mercury) didn't, so I found another agent, who insured our home with Safeco with an umbrella policy.  Still, he says he can't find any insurance to cover teaching.  I have heard from a couple of people who teach cooking that they have business insurance with Hartford, cost around $120 a quarter, with 1 million dollars coverage (I don't know the details).  I am also looking online for "insurance for teaching cooking" to see if there's anything more reasonable.

That's it in a nutshell.  Good luck and keep in touch.

Joy

 

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Thanks for you helpful note.  I've been teaching a basic course in double-rising 33%-hydration breads, focusing on challah because most students are from my congregation, for years without giving a thought to insurance issues.  Now I'm wondering whether I should have.  Fortunately in over a decade of giving these classes at home and at my Temple, giving out my recipe and other helpful hints each time, there've been no mishaps.  Davis, by the way, is in Yolo County, 15 minutes south of Sacramento on I-80. My plans have been to do just what you're doing.  I'll look into the insurance and local registration issues when I move out there mid-summer.  In the meantime I think I'll still proceed with remodeling my new kitchen for bread-baking classes.

 

 

PeterS's picture
PeterS

Have you thought about speaking to an attorney, too, regarding a contract, notably one containing a release (hold harmless) and indemnification clause? Something along the lines of this one (for a town parks and recreation activity which often include cooking lessons).

I, for myself or as parent or guardian, hereby assume all the risks and hazards incidental to the conduct of the activities and transportation to and from the
activities. I release, absolve, and indemnify the Town of Cary, employees of the Town, volunteers, contractors and/or sponsors from all risks and hazards
associated with the activities and in the event of injury, do expressly waive all claims against them. I understand that no insurance coverage is provided
by the Town of Cary Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department. 

Or this https://www.palmbeachstate.edu/field-observation/Documents/MCAffReleaseForms.pdf

These are routine and do not completely absolve you of all responsibility despite the wording. An attorney can explain fully. It is an unfortunate sign of our times that all this (expense) is necessary. 

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

To richkaimd, I also have been teaching challah baking at the temple, did that two years running for the fifth grade religious school.  I did it as a volunteer, and I never thought of insurance issues, nor did the school principal.  Once you begin charging for your services, everything changes.  I am holding off on teaching at this point.  I have heard of business insurance for teaching that costs about $115 quarterly from Hartford.  That comes out to almost as much as our total home insurance annually.  There are also online insurance companies; one asked me to send my FLIP policy so they can sell me an attachment for teaching.  But you don't really know much about small online companies.  I do know that Hartford is reputable.  At any rate, good luck with your plans.

PeterS, I had just such a document drawn up by an attorney friend, who also said that it doesn't totally protect you from any legal action, just as you indicate.  It just makes people aware of the situation.  I agree, lots of hurdles to do what you want to do.  My attorney friend also said that I might just go ahead and have people sign the disclaimer and teach anyway.  Students will be mostly people I know from community involvement, friends, friends of friends, and classes will be occasional, say monthly or bi-monthly.  The other alternative is to teach in a framework of a cooking school or adult ed., etc., rather than in my home or a student's home.  I was an adult school teacher and a high school teacher in an earlier life, and the need for insurance never entered my head.

Joy