Author Topic: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery  (Read 1867 times)

Offline jonpkaiser

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Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« on: November 11, 2015, 11:55:04 PM »
We are opening up a nano-brewery out of our garage in OR. The hardest part of the process at this time is not with city, state or federal licensing ... it is with Insurance. The problem is, having a commercially based brewery out of our detached garage, our home-owners insurance carrier will cancel our home owners policy. So solution go to another carrier ... nope. After multiple calls I can get commercial insurance for the garage brewery no problem, but no one will cover my home and remaining property. I am not the only one doing this though. I have multiple asks out to those who are doing this, and the common response "don't ask don't tell" but I am not going to take that risk. So does anyone here have known information on insurance companies that will cover the home/property and the commercial side of this as well? Does anyone have first hand experience with this as well? Cheers!

Offline narcout

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 12:51:29 AM »
This may not be feasible or desirable, but have you considered segregating the detached garage area into a separate parcel?
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 02:02:02 AM »
Don't ask don't tell is a great idea until something happens and the insurance company won't pay. I can't believe people really do this and think they won't catch on. Might as well stuff dollar bills down the garbage disposal as that's where their premium is going.

Offline jonpkaiser

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 06:36:14 AM »
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This may not be feasible or desirable, but have you considered segregating the detached garage area into a separate parcel?

Unfortunately I do not have this option ... would be nice though

Offline jonpkaiser

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 06:37:12 AM »
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Don't ask don't tell is a great idea until something happens and the insurance company won't pay. I can't believe people really do this and think they won't catch on. Might as well stuff dollar bills down the garbage disposal as that's where their premium is going.

AGREED! Exactly why I am making sure I get the coverage needed. Glad I am not the only one seeing it this way.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 02:53:26 PM »
I guess the only value to a dishonest policy is if one needs to show a policy exists for home or business purposes but even then the value is probably outweighed by the risks involved. Not only will the policy likely be voided the second a claims adjuster seems the home and business on the same property but there may be fraud problems (both civil and criminal) that have negative effects on mortgages, business loans, brewing licenses and so forth.

Have you talked to insurance brokers rather than actual insurance carriers? Brokers are more likely to know the carriers who will write custom policies in your state or the common ways people improve their ability to procure coverage. I would imagine somebody covers these types of arrangements in your state. People with home baking or catering businesses probably know some of the brokers who work with these policies. Your coverage needs are different because you're serving/selling alcohol and running a manufacturing plant but many of the other coverage challenges are the same.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 03:41:09 PM »
You could contact Mic Sager (I think that is it) up in WA. Similar set up for his brewery. He hasn't been on here in a while.
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Offline micsager

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2015, 05:33:40 PM »
You could contact Mic Sager (I think that is it) up in WA. Similar set up for his brewery. He hasn't been on here in a while.

Not as active as I used to be, but still come and read from time to time. 

Yes, we do this.  Our Homeowners policy does not cover a building used for commercial reasons.  But, the policy doesn't say commercial use invalidates the entire policy.  We have a separate policy for that building.  So we do a bit of the Don't ask, don't tell thing.  The homeowners is through USAA.  Military service is a requirement to join.  (or federal law enforcement) 

And don't forget about product liability insurance. 


Offline jimmykx250

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2015, 06:20:05 PM »
IF you don't mind me asking what qualifies for a nano brewery volume wise? How much will you be able to produce and sell? Just curious.
Thanks,
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Offline micsager

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2015, 06:28:53 PM »
IF you don't mind me asking what qualifies for a nano brewery volume wise? How much will you be able to produce and sell? Just curious.
Thanks,

I'm not sure "nano" has a specific definition. 

With our system, I "could" brew and sell 2bbls a week.  However, This is still really a hobby for my wife and I.  It's nice that it's a hobby that pays for itself, and there's money to invest in better/cooler equipment and such.  We sell about 2bbls a month.  And recently turned down a new account, as we want a life as well.  Our day jobs provide much more $$$ than brewing on a 1bbl system could provide. 

Offline jonpkaiser

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2015, 11:24:08 PM »
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With our system, I "could" brew and sell 2bbls a week.  However, This is still really a hobby for my wife and I.  It's nice that it's a hobby that pays for itself, and there's money to invest in better/cooler equipment and such.  We sell about 2bbls a month.  And recently turned down a new account, as we want a life as well.  Our day jobs provide much more $$$ than brewing on a 1bbl system could provide.

micsager, so since you have contracts I am assuming that you are fully licensed commercial nano? In going with this thread, do you have any information to share surrounding commercial and home owners insurance? If you are doing a 1bbl and have your full time job like me, I am also assuming that you are not leasing a building them.

Offline micsager

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2015, 05:05:47 PM »
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With our system, I "could" brew and sell 2bbls a week.  However, This is still really a hobby for my wife and I.  It's nice that it's a hobby that pays for itself, and there's money to invest in better/cooler equipment and such.  We sell about 2bbls a month.  And recently turned down a new account, as we want a life as well.  Our day jobs provide much more $$$ than brewing on a 1bbl system could provide.

micsager, so since you have contracts I am assuming that you are fully licensed commercial nano? In going with this thread, do you have any information to share surrounding commercial and home owners insurance? If you are doing a 1bbl and have your full time job like me, I am also assuming that you are not leasing a building them.

We are fully licensed by the state and feds.  We do this in a separate building on our residential property.  And "accounts" should not be confused with "contracts."  I have no written agreement with the two places that buy our beer.  They call when they need a keg, and I bring it to them. 

We have homeowners insurance to cover our house, and garage.  And a separate commercial policy for the brewery building, equipment, etc.....  And also product liability insurance, should our beer make someone sick.  It's really cheap, and gives us peace of mind. 


Offline jonpkaiser

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Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2015, 11:23:37 PM »
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We have homeowners insurance to cover our house, and garage.  And a separate commercial policy for the brewery building, equipment, etc.....  And also product liability insurance, should our beer make someone sick.  It's really cheap, and gives us peace of mind. 

micsager can you help me out then by private messaging me the insurance company/companies that are insuring you in all areas? The purpose of this thread is because I am running into walls with all insurance companies at this point ... a bunch of no answers from them. Any assistance you can lend is appreciated.