Wineries & Breweries

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Wineries, breweries, wine and liquor retailers and importers face emerging challenges as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, record-breaking natural disasters and more. Now, more than ever, choosing a trusted partner who specializes in this niche is critical to ensuring a business has the comprehensive, quality coverage it needs, coupled with the customer service it deserves. 

One key threat to wineries and vineyards in recent years has been wildfires. In 2020 alone, wildfires cost the winery industry $3.7 billion, a staggering figure that shut down many businesses and forced others into difficult positions. Cumulatively, the 2021 wildfire season is estimated to have a combined total economic impact between $70 and $90 billion  nationwide, as the threat of this disaster continues to grow across the country. 

In recent years, wineries with solid, up-to-date coverage have been able to recoup lost revenue through business interruption coverage while roads were closed and towns were evacuated. Others were able to use insurance funds to rebuild and get back to business after a major loss. What’s key here is working with an insurer who knows the industry. They’ll not only make sure your property is insured to its adequate value should rebuilding be necessary, they will also have knowledge of recent industry risk mitigation trends, such as mobile climate control or remote sprinklers.

Compounding an ever-present wildfire danger, changes to doing business related to the COVID-19 pandemic are also impacting business for wineries, breweries and more. For example, when COVID-related outdoor eating space became a necessity, many business owners quickly increased their patio space, added tents, coverings and heaters. A specialty insurer is there to help these business owners understand any risk exposures related to this new way of doing business and how to best protect themselves.  

Longer-standing exposures, such as cyber risk, also continue to threaten the industry. Breweries, wineries, cideries and alcohol retailers that haven’t recently updated their point-of-sale systems (POS) or aren’t properly prepared to deal with phishing threats are vulnerable to significant damages that could shut down their businesses. A good specialty insurer can help, offering comprehensive cyber coverage and risk management tips to keep systems hacker-proof and to help educate staff on cyber risk.

Finally, dram shop laws and regulations will forever remain a concern for any business serving alcohol. Business owners must ensure staff is properly trained not to serve minors or those in danger of being overserved, follow hours policies mandated by the state, and ensure guests have a safe way home. Once again, a knowledgeable insurance partner can provide quality insurance coverage should a brewery or winery find itself at issue with a dram shop regulation, as well as provide risk mitigation tips and advice to help the business operate safely and stay out of trouble in the first place. 

Many owners and operators in the winery, brewery or distillery business, whether they are winemakers, brewers, importers, retailers or distributors, work in this business because they have a passion for it. Why not work with an insurance specialist who shares that passion? A general insurer may not understand the particular risks within this unique space and may not be adequately equipped to support businesses as they deal with industry risks – old and new.

When seeking out an insurance partner, it can also be critical to choose an insurer who maintains a personal approach to doing business. A specialty insurer who stands by a “boots on the ground” mentality and is dedicated to visiting business locations can be invaluable. 

A savvy specialty insurer will not only share your passion for your product, they will know the ins and outs of the industry, as well as its risk profile. Talk to your independent agent today to connect you with a top-tier specialty insurer for wineries, breweries, distilleries and more.