CHEF INSURANCE

FAQS (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)



WHY DO I NEED PERSONAL CHEF GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?

As a Chef, you are handling food every day, and the risks to your client's health and your personal safety are of the utmost importance.  What happens when a client claims that they had an allergic reaction to something that you prepared?  No matter how experienced of a Chef you are, none of us are infallible and accidents can happen to anyone.  What if the reaction was caused by the client consuming something else that day?  Are you going to have the time and know-how to deal with this?

Whether it's cross-contamination causing food poisoning or a cut to your hand while chopping or even damage to the client's property, the risks to your business and to you personally are high.  From a little over $1 a day, you can get personal chef business liability insurance ("liability insurance") to protect you, your business and your clients, letting you focus on what you love most - cooking great food!


WHAT IS A DEDUCTIBLE?

Insurance pays for substantial losses, not minor ones. The deductible is the amount for which you are self-insured, and they help to keep insurance premiums low. The higher the deductible you select, the lower your annual insurance premiums will be.



WHAT TYPES OF CHEF BUSINESS WOULD BE COVERED BY THE LIABILITY INSURANCE?

The policy may cover the following services:


- Personal Chef services conducted in a client's home or premises, with up to 20 diners.  For this service, food must be prepared on-site, not in a commercial kitchen or elsewhere.  It can apply to the traditional personal chef service (customised freezer-friendly meals), private cooking classes in a client's home or commercial premises, dinner parties, BBQs, menu planning services, mis-en-place services etc. 

- onsite catering with up to 200 guests - this option can be added at any time throughout your membership.


- some items prepared for sale at Farmer's Markets and fairs; please provide information to our office for verification (see below).


- some items sold directly to consumers, not through retail locations; please provide information to our office for verification (see below).


- recreational cooking lessons up to 20 people; please provide information to our office for verification (see below).


- baked goods created by Artisan or Personal bakers, making one-off custom cakes for various clients (if selling a set product line through stores, it would not fit); please provide information to our office for verification (see below).


- prepared meal service, where meals are prepared in a commercial kitchen, packaged and then the client picks them up from the location; please provide information to our office for verification (see below).


- preparing meals in the Chef's own home (subject to municipal licensing, health and safety protocols etc) for clients, where the clients can either have the meals delivered or picked up from the home (recommended that Chefs have a lawyer draft a release for the clients, indicating that they understand that the meals will be prepared in Chef's kitchen not a commercial facility, and that transporting foods must be done in accordance with food safety protocols); please provide information to our office for verification (see below).


- cooking at a licensed kitchen in a school, or similar facility, for people to pick up meals for take-out; please provide information to our office for verification (see below).



WILL MY HOME INSURANCE COVER MY HOME BUSINESS?

A home insurance policy offers a small coverage limit for books, tools and instruments necessary for a business, profession or occupation. If you operate a business from home, you should inform your insurance agent and obtain additional coverage to mitigate the risk of a potential loss. There may also be limits on your home insurance and it may not be adequate for all of the equipment used by your business.​ 



CAN I SERVE OR PURCHASE ALCOHOL FOR AN EVENT OR CLIENT?

The purchase of alcohol is not permitted unless you have been granted a licence by your local liquor control board.  Serving alcohol at an event is not covered by the insurance policy, irrespective of whether you have Safe Serve certification.  Wine recommendations and the use of alcohol as a cooking ingredient (where the alcohol is 'burned off') are permitted.


IF MY BUSINESS' NEEDS CHANGE THROUGHOUT MY TERM, CAN I CHANGE THE LEVEL OF INSURANCE?

You can upgrade your Chef Insurance at any time.  We recommended that you take a level higher than you think you will need, as the cost is incrementally more.  The added benefits will more than pay for it.  You cannot downgrade your insurance during the Term.


IF MY BUSINESS' NEEDS CHANGE AND I NEED TO CANCEL MY INSURANCE CAN I GET A REFUND?

You may cancel at any time, but would be responsible for any remaining instalments for the Term.  Refunds will not be issued upon cancellation. 

Typically, insurance would cost you over $1200 plus tax if you were to go to an insurance company directly.  Many chefs join simply to save money on the insurance, and for no other reason!



I'VE BEEN HIRED TO COOK FOR A WEDDING, BUT THE STANDARD POLICY WILL NOT COVER THE EVENT - THERE WILL BE 150 PEOPLE.  CAN I GET EXTRA INSURANCE?

It's always great to hear success stories!  The insurance company needs to be aware of all events over 20 people in order for them to be covered by the insurance.  Don't leave anything to chance.  You can get additional coverage for multiple events of up to 200 people for a nominal fee.  Simply call or email us so that we can get all of the required information.


DOES THE INSURANCE COVER ME WORKING IN A RESTAURANT OR WITH A CATERING COMPANY ETC?

No.  Restaurants/ catering companies and the like, will (we hope!!) have their own liability insurance should anything go wrong.


IS MY HOME BUSINESS EQUIPMENT COVERED WHEN IT'S IN MY CAR?


Any equipment or supplies stolen from or damaged while in your car will not be covered under your auto or home insurance policies.  It is important to have coverage under the home business endorsement policy or a specific commercial policy.



WHAT IF I DO NOT DECLARE A HOME-BASED BUSINESS AND SOMETHING HAPPENS TO MY EQUIPMENT?


You must declare your home-based business to your insurer or the business equipment will not be covered under your homeowner’s policy. Not disclosing a home-based business to your insurer can result in your policy being voided by the insurer, as operating a business from home would be a material change of the risk that they insure.



CAN I PREPARE FOOD AT HOME AND DELIVER TO THE CLIENT?

Most municipalities have very strict laws regarding where food for sale can be prepared and how it can be transported.  These laws protect the client from foodbourne illnesses should food be prepared in a kitchen that has not been inspected and passed by the health department; there are also risks to the food during transportation, if it is not transported in a refrigerated truck, for example.  The General Liability Insurance included in membership may not cover your business if you do not adhere to related laws should anything go wrong.

​Personal Chefs can avoid these issues by transporting the raw ingredients to the client's home, and preparing all of the meals in the client's kitchen.  Alternatively, have your home kitchen inspected by your local Health Department, notify your Home Insurance provider that you are running a business there, and have your clients pick up the prepared meals on their way home from work.  Having a waiver or contract addressing transportation recommendations etc. with your clients is highly recommended should you choose to have them collect the food.


I MAKE JELLIES & JAMS, BAKED GOODS, VEGAN/VEGETARIAN MEALS ETC. THAT I SELL AT LOCAL FARMER'S MARKETS & TRADE SHOWS.  IS THIS COVERED?

This type of service may be covered by the policy; however there are restrictions.  Contact our office for details.


If you are preparing any type of food for sale, the facility you are cooking in should be inspected and have the approval of your local Health Department; Personal Chef services, where you are taking raw foods to a client's home and preparing the food there does not fall under this category, so your clients' kitchens do not need to be inspected if you are cooking there.



DOES THE INSURANCE COVER ME FOR LARGE EVENTS, E.G. TRADE SHOWS?

There are a number of factors involved that can affect the answer to this question. For example:
What are the requirements of the event organisers?  Do they need to be added as a 'named insured?'  What is your participation in the event?  Are you being hired to hand out product samples?  Are you catering for a large group?  Are you doing a cooking demo or holding a cooking lesson?  Where is the event being held, and how many days will the event last?  Are you preparing food on-site or off-site?

In some cases, a simple rider added to your certificate will suffice; in other cases, you may be required to take out additional coverage for that event.  Our experienced insurance agent will be able to answer your questions, and will quote you at the best rates available, if applicable, should this be required.


I HAVE ACCESS TO A KITCHEN IN A LOCAL CHURCH.  CAN I PREPARE FOOD THERE AND THEN TRANSPORT IT TO A CLIENT'S HOME?

The Chef Alliance does not approve of or endorse any of its members providing catering or personal chef services except as permitted by the laws and regulations of our respective jurisdictions, and as covered in the liability insurance policy.  Our policy covers Personal Chef Services for up to 20 people.

Using church kitchens or those in service clubs, organisations or schools as a location to cook food and then for you to transport it to a client's home is NOT covered by the policy - this is traditional catering.  You would have to abide by your local health & safety regulations both while cooking and transporting the prepared foods.  So, for example, you would need to have a refrigerated van to transport the prepared foods, specialty equipment to hold the prepared food in etc.  Should you wish to provide catering services and transport prepared foods to the event location, you should purchase catering insurance (we offer Chef insurance) and also use legal, inspected kitchens, as well as use the proper transportation (e.g. refrigerated van) to carry prepared foods.

Should you decide to proceed anyway, without taking the recommended safeguards, you may not be covered by the policy.  Should anything go wrong, you may be wholly responsible.  This could be a costly mistake that could cause you financial ruin.


I PROVIDE RECREATIONAL COOKING CLASSES AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS.  DOES THE INSURANCE COVER THIS SERVICE?

Yes.  The policy covers recreational classes up to 20 attendees.



I PROVIDE A MEAL PREPARATION SERVICE WHERE I COOK MEALS FROM MY HOME (WHICH HAS BEEN INSPECTED AND APPROVED BY THE APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES) AND THESE MEALS ARE PICKED UP BY MY CLIENTS ON THEIR WAY HOME FROM WORK.  DOES THE INSURANCE COVER THIS SERVICE?

Yes, this type of service may be covered by the policy.  However, there are some restrictions, which our team can discuss with you - contact us for details.



What is the difference between health insurance and critical illness insurance?


There’s a big difference between them.

Critical illness insures you so that if you suffer a critical illness - cancer, heart disease etc. - the insurance pays you a lump sum payment.  You can use it to cover expenses while you are recuperating, or for treatments.  You decide.

Health insurance is designed to look after your health so you can get on with looking after your business.  It usually covers medical treatment - doctors, medical practitioners, medication etc. - so that you can recover and get back to work quickly.



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Member benefits and coverage are subject to change without notice.  For more information on protecting your Chef business, please contact our office.