What Brokers Need To Know About The Food Truck Industry

Jan 2021

Street vendors are a small but mighty part of Canada’s economy. Over the last few years, this sector has innovated to both meet evolving consumer tastes and attract new customers. From Canadian food truck festivals to food truck weddings, street vendors are beloved across the country.

Including retrofitting and wrapping, the average price of purchasing a food truck ranges between $3,250 to $200,000. This is a huge portion of a business’ startup capital, so it makes sense to secure such a large investment with a good insurance plan that covers both damages and injury.

Read on to learn about the key liability exposures street vendors face in the day-to-day operation of their business, as well as tips for successfully serving this hard-to-place sector.

Canada’s Street Vendor Industry Is Growing

Canada’s street vendor industry is currently worth $325 million. Approximately 2,093 businesses create 2,483 jobs in the sector, according to Ibis World. (1) And over the last six years up until 2020 the industry has steadily grown, innovating beyond the basic product line of hotdogs and sausages to serve a much broader palette. More street vendors have benefitted from serving high-quality food at budget prices amid increased consumer interest in a diverse range of food choices.

Because of these trends, along with momentum from the gourmet food movement, the food truck industry is expected to grow over the next five years beyond 2020.

3 Examples of Food Truck Risks

  1. Food preparation:Every business that deals with food has significant liability exposure and the food truck business is no exception. Food-related illnesses such as food poisoning represent a major set of risks apparent when running a food truck business.
  2. Storage:Business owners need to be mindful of how their food is sourced, stored and prepared to mitigate this risk.
  3. Weather events:From storms to high winds, unexpected weather events (e.g. fallen trees, branches or telephone poles) can cause serious damage, especially since food trucks are constantly exposed to the elements.

One Best Practice When Insuring Street Vendors

Filling out submission applications to completion is the best way to ensure a quick submission process. With the detailed information on the client’s business, our underwriters will be able to provide a quote that is specifically customized to the client and their products. This also allows us the opportunity to include enhancements that are beneficial to the overall operation and coverage.

About SWG PROPERTY: Food Trucks/Hot Dog Carts/Chip Trucks

South Western’s Food Truck/Hot Dog Cart/Chip Truck Liability insurance offers a competitive policy for both mobile and stationary food providers, including hot dog carts, chip wagons, and gourmet food trucks.

(No alcohol of any sort can be served or sold (no exception) regardless of whether the Operator has acquired and possess’ a Liquor Licence.)

Coverage Highlights:


  • Coverage includes the unit and contents, seasonal & year-round operations
  • Risks with deep frying must have an automatic fire suppression system

Commercial General Liability:

  • Bodily injury and property damage
  • Tenant’s Legal Liability
  • Non-owned automobile available
  • $1,000,000 & $2,000,000 standard limits
  • $5,000,000 available on request

Visit our product page for more information.

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.


  1. https://www.ibisworld.com/canada/market-research-reports/street-vendors-industry/