Hot Dog Cart Insurance – Who Do You Use?

by · 52 comments

I just got an email from HDCN reader Tim who’s hot dog business “Get Grilled” is taking off like a rocket. Tim got his start here at HotDogProfits.com and was kind enough to give me a great interview which you will be hearing on Hot Dog Cart Radio some time in the near future.

When your business expands as fast as Tim’s, you are going to have some growing pains. One of Tim’s pains is insurance. He writes,

Hi Steve,

I am now moving into a bit bigger venues. Remember when i told you that my business has been operating on word of mouth advertising? Well word of mouth has been good. I now have the local director of economic development and several chamber of commerces contacting me for gigs. I have a Country Club Charity event on the 8th of August and I have been asked to set up in a local business parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays after that.

I have been looking for liability Insurance for the last couple of weeks and have had a hard time finding people to cover me. Now that I am stepping out big time, I need to CMA.

Thanks,

Tim

O.K loyal readers, it’s time help a fellow dogger.

Who do you use for hot dog cart insurance? Please provide the name of the company and their phone number in the comments section along with any suggestions or tips.

As my high school football coach used to say, “Let’s go girls, I want to HEAR YOU!”

I love it when we all get together to solve a problem. With your help, this will become a great resource for hot dog cart insurance for all of us.

Thanks for sharing!!!

-Steve

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

steve

I use Barton Mutual. They are great, but they can only write policies in Missouri. If you live in the show me state, you can call them at 800-455-1646.

Come on folks, tell us who you use!

-Steve

Reply

Tim/Get Grilled

Thanks Steve for putting this out there. Anyone one of you doggers that could throw this old dog a bone sure would be appreciated

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Jim

Hey Tim-
glad business is boomin for ya. Try Michelle at Cumberland Insurance Group at 931-372-1222. She’s my agent here in Tennessee but the underwriter’s in Indy, closer to yer neighborhood.
Good luck n good doggin!
Jim
GoodDog!

Reply

Frank

I have a policy thru Travelers. If you do get insurance, make sure that it fully covers catering. Most liability polices only cover if the catering is less than 25% of your business.

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Lee Dugas

Hey Tim – not sure of they can do business out of state….but call Nicole here in Columbus, OH @ 614 717 0017. Very, very inexpensive & great service.

Reply

Patricia

Insurance:
This is AAA Insurance……
McMillan – Steedley Agency JR McMillan, Owner – Agent
620 N. Main St., Kannapolis, NC 28081

(704) 298-4446 phone
(704) 298-4230 fax
email @: jrmcmillan@mcmillansteedley.com
http://www.mcmillansteedley.com

Reply

Ron

I use American Family. They do monthly payments and the premium is between $300 and $400 a year.

Be sure to ask your agent how much it will cost to add an additional insured to the policy. As you do larger events, they will require that they be listed on your policy. Some policies charge extra for this and should be considered.

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Steve

Hey, Tim
I got a quote from Fred Sabbe of Sabbe & Assoc. In Ca. He is a nationwide provider. I’m not up and running yet but explained my cart to him and got the quote. Around $500.00 a year. I’m building my cart from Steve’s plans w/ some modifications. Hope to be out there with ya soon. Also Fred has a web site http://www.sabbeinsurance.com hope this helps. Steve

Reply

Kathy

Anyone knows who might right liability Ins. in South Carolina? I’m just getting started.
Many thanks
Kathy

Reply

Mark

Another option is an umbrella policy. I worked with my auto/home insurance person to develop coverage. It’s cheap when you combine with your other policies. Call your local agent today.

Reply

Name

I Use A. McGlawn Insurance Agency. They are in Elkins Park Pa. I have done 22 festivals so far this season. McGlawns has sent me a Certificate for all events with speed and accuracy. I have twelve more festivals before I settle down for a long winters nap……

Reply

Bryan

Contact your local Shelter agency – and find out all the people or groups you will need to add to your policy. In Nashville I am required to have a Million in coverage – and have Metro Nashville as additional insured – and it only cost me $125.00 a year

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fred

I have my cart insused with nationwide in maryland. I’m insured for $500.00 yearly

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Tim

State Farm here in Indiana about $300.00 a year

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Bryan

Contact your local Shelter agency – and find out all the people or groups you will need to add to your policy. In Nashville I am required to have a Million in coverage – and have Metro Nashville as additional insured – and it only cost me $125.00 a year

Reply

Tim/Get Grilled

Thanks everyone. I got that insurance and will be rollingt out Saturday with a lot better feeling in my gut. Traveler’s insurance was the winner. The next time I am in Texas, Frank, I will make sure to drop in and get one of those Texas dogs.
Hi Pocono, and only you know who you are, I would like it if you dropped me an e-mail i have a few questions for you.

Again thanks everyone. I hope I get a chance to meet you guys and gals personally someday. Your awesome! Push Steve to get that association we talked about started. He knows what i am talking about. See ya in the next blog. Let’s push his contest. He has done a lot for us, let’s return the favor

Reply

Clarence Burrell, Jr.

My wife, Sheila, started Burrell’s Hot Dogs Unlimited, in West Point, VA. Things are beginning topick up, We are looking for insurance also, so thanks for the info.

Reply

Leonor

Steve thanks again for all your help!

Reply

Gina

good info thanks

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Margie Cochran

I have been in the business for 5 years. It was difficult trying to find an Ins. carrier that would cover vending business. Most do not have
vending policies and have to “build” one for you.
I have paid as much as 500.00 a year. Finally found Josh Witt at (toll free) 800 951-4196 or
865 670-0911

info@hotdogvendorinsurance.com (Knoxville)
I currently carry 2million $ for @ 250.00 per year.
Just tell him Margie (Dog Gone Dog’s )reccomended him and he will know what you need.

Reply

leonard clifford

I HAVE BEEN SELLING CARS 35 YEARS AND HATE THE WINTER MY HOPE IS TO BE OUT OF THE CAR BUSINESS BY FEB AND LOOK IN TO THIS LINE OF FUN THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP I WILL KEEP READING AND WILL ACT TO GET IN CLASS I NEED TO HAVE FUN THANK YOU LEONARD CLIFFORD

Reply

Jim

Message to BRYAN: hey man where in Nashville are ya?

Reply

Tim/Get Grilled

Great Idea Jim. All you doggers out there send me an email at tim@getgrilled foods.com give me your locations. That way when i am traveling I can stop in get a dog and say hi.

Pocono, still waiting to hear from you. You out there?

Reply

Rick Forness

My coverage costs $193.00 a year and has total bus coverage with product liaiabilty. Additional insured are extra for different events.This is a must for anyone selling food as there are some sue happy people out there. I use American Family . They cover the whole 9 yards, house, cars and cart. This lowers the price somewhat.

Reply

Athena West

I have dreamed of owning a hot dog cart for over 25 years. I got laid off from a GREAT job with a BIG company last December and had to take the first job that came along, paying a LOT less than what I was making. Now, my dream of a hot dog business is burning a hole in my brain.
Now that I make so much less money, I am looking at having to move to an apartment to stay afloat, not sure how that would mess up “owning” a cart. Every penny I make has to be accounted for now, but I have been thinking about cashing in a portion of my old 401K to purchase Steve’s program, and buy a cart.

I’d love to hear from anyone who might have been in same position as I was in.

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Tim/Get Grilled

Athena ask Steve any questions you have. Buy his course that will give you all you need to know about getting started. He is “King Weenie”, trust me.

Reply

jim

I have my insurance with state farm 1000.000 general liabilty 2,000,00 aggergate plus 5,000 comp on my cart for 27.20 a month in Minnesota

Reply

Jim

Athena-like Tim sez buy Steve’s book And remember the 3 most important rules for success in the Dogosphere-LOCATION,LOCATION & LOCATION!Wishing you good luck-Jim

Reply

Kath

We got insurance from an agent in out home town that told us he was getting us the best insurance available…for $1012.00 a year. We’re new and our first payment was $262.00!!!
Needed a fast binder and payed it. Later called around and found STATE FARM in Apple Valley CA. They insured us on projected sales which was easier for us to afford, until we begin to make ends meet. Remember guys, we still need to be able to afford weiners!! Ask for Elizabeth 760-247-8848 (tell her Ike’s sent you)

Reply

steve

Kath,

Wow, you were getting hosed. I’m glad you called around.

It pays to compare carriers every year or two.

-Steve

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jim

try state farm ins, i have 1,000,000 general lilabilty with 2,000,000 aggreate and also covers my cart for 5,000 comp for 348.00 a year

Reply

Mike Zavorski

I’m looking for a used Stand In Food Vendor/Hot Dog Trailer
I’m located in Philadelphia

Any suggestions

Reply

Brook / Slap Happy Dogs

Washington State here — Jim, you said you have State Farm Insurance (“1000.000 general liabilty 2,000,00 aggergate plus 5,000 comp on my cart for 27.20 a month in Minnesota”) That’s a great rate but DON’T WE NEED TO INSURE OUR TOWING VEHICLE IN THE SAME POLICY AS OUR CART? I was told once you hook your cart up to your car/truck it is no longer a family vehicle and it potentially falls into a different category. Hopefully someone can clarify this point for me.

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Brook / Slap Happy Dogs

Washington State — I just got a quote from Duncan and Associates. They quoted me an annual premium of $1701. GULP!! Never in their dreams would I pay that amount and certainly not after reading comments made in this forum. If anyone has a thought on who I can contact for insurance, please let me know.

Reply

Tim's Road Dogs

I just received an insurance quote today from my insurance agent. $1,600 a year for 1 mil liability, 5g covered for the cart with a projected sales of 50g a year. Can anybody help me? I read the blogs and it doesn’t seem to be the norm, or is it because I live in NJ?

Reply

Smokey I's

@Tim’s Road Dogs, I also live in NJ (Bergen County) and I’m having trouble finding insurance. Have you found insurance yet? If so can you recommend.

Thank you.

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JP

I got a quote for $900/yr from my auto insurance company. That sounded ridiculously high to me, so I called State Farm, who ended up saving me well over a thousand per year in insurance premiums by switching all of my policies over. I pay $235/yr for my business ins, which covers replacement cost of my cart and a million bucks liability. It pays (literally) to shop around.

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Chris

Getting all of my information together to start my own Hot Dog Cart here in Bucyrus, OH. Looking for insurance but what do I need? Do i need a combination? One for the cart and one for the business? Also do I need to get a D.B.A?
Thanks.

Reply

steve

Chris,

As far as insurance, commissaries, permits, locations, inspections, and all the other details required to be successful, I’m going to give it to you straight.

Here’s what I recommend:

If you’ve never done this before, you need to get my course “Hot Dog Biz 101″. You’ll learn more there than you would in a month of expensive and stressful trial and error at the job site.

It’s really an investment in your success. Go ahead and order it today. I’ll ship it to you via Priority Mail so you’ll get it in 2-3 days.

Read it through and if you decide it’s not for you, just send it back and I’ll give you your money back

Think of it as a risk free trial.

You can get it at http://www.HotDogBiz101.com

Reply

janet

suggestions for hot dog liability in jersey anyone? Just need it for 2 or 3 events.

Reply

Ron Ortega

While our Insurance Program is primarily for Mobile Food Trucks we also write Hot Dog Vendors in 33 states. Visit us at http://www.mobilefoodvendorsinsurance.com or call us at 512-338-1191.

Reply

dave

Hi my name is dave and I am just getting started here in bloomington indiana and I see that tim got insured through state farm. But I had just got told today they can’t do that kinda insurance..anyways I have one more ?.. is it in the best interest to get a inc. , LLC. Behind your buisness or not.. I have been told it is…how many of you have that

Reply

Dennis

Dave, I live in Indiana and am switching to State Farms from Traveler’s today. Maybe you need a face to face with your agent. Good Luck

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Daryl at "The Blacktop Grill", Denver, CO

Dave: I setup as an LLC in my state, primarily for tax reasons, but it was simple to setup online and, at least in my state (Colorado), requires only one person for an LLC, if filed online. For some odd reason, setting up an LLC here requires two persons, if filed in paper form. I guess someone forgot to update the form or there is some other quirkiness going on. I could have opened the business checking account et al with my personal name and a copy of my trade name registration doc, using my personal SSN. This would be fine in the beginning, but I definitely would have switched to an LLC later on. It was just simpler to setup the right way to begin with. Good luck.

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Daryl at "The Blacktop Grill", Denver, CO

I was quoted for a $2M annual coverage policy, with $1M per incident cap, plus up to $100K for location liability (in case my hot dog cart blows up and destroys the storefront behind me, or the venue I am catering at) for $490/yr (first year only) in Colorado. Subsequent years are $390/yr. I will look around for cheaper rates, but it is not too bad for now.

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pamela

Daryl,
I am just getting started in the business in southern CO. What insurance company are you using?

Mike

I shopped around for months before I pulled the trigger. They guy I went went almost didn’t get my business. I thought he was pulling my chain when he said that if I was going anywhere else for quotes he couldn’t help cause a insurance company won’t let more then one agent quote the same stuff. Turns out he was right. don’t remember his number but his website is client-news.com

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Steve

That would apply to more than one agent from the same company I presume. You can always shop different companies yourself.

Ted Hansen

Switched from progressive last year to http://www.insuremyfoodtruck.com. They’re based in California, but working with them from Austin was a snap. They guy I spoke with there was Denny.

Reply

Steve

Thanks Ted!

Phil

Let’s see where do I begin? Maybe with all the companies who have told me they don’t cover Hot Dog Cart Vendors. These are companies I have called and spoken to directly and been told, “Sorry we don’t write policies for that.”

American Family Insurance
State Farm
Mobile Food Vendor Ins. (not in my state)
The Hartford
USAA
Allstate
Maybe a few others I forgot….

Two companies have said they will write a policy for me however.

K&K Ins out of Ft Wayne, IN quoted me around $1300/year

The Ins Group LLC out of TN quoted me around $950/year

Where are all of these $400/yr quotes you guys listed coming from?

Reply

Steve

Here’s my first choice when recommending cart insurers:

Josh Witt, CIC
The Insurance Group, LLC
Josh Witt is the food cart insurance specialist. He has the experience to get you the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

412 N. Cedar Bluff Road
Suite 108
Knoxville, TN 37923
(865) 670-0911
(865) 670-0877 (Fax)
email: jwitt@insgrp.net

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