Vending Machine Business Insurance 

Compare business insurance quotes for your vending machine business with Savvy today.

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, updated on August 1st, 2023       

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We’ve partnered with BizCover to bring you a range of business insurance policies to help you compare them side by side.

When you pop to your local servo to grab a bag of ice for the barbeque, you may not realise the ice vending machine may be operated by a separate independent business. We often take vending machines for granted, but because they’re complex machines with their own risks, their operators require good business insurance to make sure they’re covered in case things do go wrong. 

You can compare quotes for many types of business insurance here with Savvy. Just answer a few simple questions about your vending machine business and the insurance you need and you’ll have multiple quotes from a range of respected insurers to compare instantly. Use our quick and easy comparison service to help you get the best value insurance for your vending business today. 

What types of insurance should I buy for my vending machine business?

There are many types of vending machine businesses in Australia. These include:  

  • Ice 
  • Confectionary 
  • Coffee 
  • Soft drinks 
  • Snack foods 
  • Toy and novelties 
  • Laundromats 
  • Automatic car washers 
  • Dog washing booths 
  • Pinball and gaming machines 

What these businesses have in common is they face similar risks and so require similar business insurance, including:

Public liability insurance 

Public liability insurance is essential for anyone who makes part (or all) of their living from a vending business. It can cover you against claims that your business activity caused injury to a member of the public or damaged their property. This insurance can offer between $5 million and $20 million worth of coverage. 

What it covers:  

  1. Third-party personal injury claims 
  2. Damage to a third party’s property 
  3. Legal fees to defend yourself 

Product liability insurance 

Product liability insurance can cover you against third-party claims that a product you sold in one of your machines was faulty or caused material loss, sickness, injury or death. This type of insurance is important to protect you against any liability claims arising from the products which are dispensed from your machines, including any food, drinks or confectionary. Cover starts from $250,000 and can be bundled together with public liability into a business insurance package. 

What it covers:  

  1. Claims that a product you supplied caused sickness or injury 
  2. Third-party damages claims 
  3. Legal fees to defend yourself 

General business insurance 

General business insurance may also be worthwhile to cover your valuable machines against vandalism or theft. It may be compulsory to take out insurance to protect your machines if you apply for finance to assist with their purchase or the vending business itself. However, a common exclusion with business insurance is glass breakage, so you may need separate glass insurance as part of your insurance package. 

Another aspect of insurance to consider as a vending machine operator is the safety of the cash you use to stock your machines and the money you collect regularly. In some business insurance policies, cash is excluded if there is a break-in, so you may also require specialist business theft insurance which may cover you in some cases where your machines are vandalised and have money stolen from them. 

Commercial vehicles aren’t included, so you may need separate commercial vehicle protection for any vehicles or trailers used to transport your vending machines.  

What it covers: 

  1. Fire, storms, theft, vandalism 
  2. Collisions and impacts which cause damage to your machines 
  3. Limited business interruption insurance 

Cyber liability insurance 

As vending machines become more complex and sophisticated, the risk of cybercrime increases. Cyber liability insurance can protect your machines in case they are hacked or illegally re-programmed. They can also protect you if skimming devices are illegally attached to your machines, resulting in financial or identity theft from a third party.  

What it covers 

  1. Data breaches including theft of client information 
  2. Forensic investigation into the cause of the breach 
  3. Data recovery costs 
  4. Cyber extortion and denial of service threats 
  5. Crisis management costs 
  6. Advertising and communicating with clients 
  7. Legal costs, including any fines and penalties imposed 

What isn’t covered under general business insurance?  

The most common general exclusions include: 

  1. Injury to yourself or your employees 
  2. Flood damage 
  3. Glass breakage (unless you have specific glass insurance) 
  4. Unlawful activity or criminal negligence 
  5. Reckless behaviour or intentional damage 
  6. Anything to do with asbestos 
  7. The effects of pollution caused by your business activity 
  8. Damage to computer hardware 
  9. The upgrading of a system unrelated to cybercrime 
  10. Power outages or failure of satellite or telecommunication services 

How much will my vending business insurance policy cost? 

There is no set cost for an insurance policy, as each applicant is different and faces unique risks. Many factors influence the cost of business insurance, including the following:  

  • The state you’re in  
  • Whether you live in a rural or urban area 
  • Whether you’re a sole trader, are in a partnership or run a larger business 
  • Your business size and turnover  
  • If you have any employees 
  • Your insurance history 
  • Whether you’ve made an insurance claim in the past five years 

The main factor which will affect the cost of your insurance is the industry you’re in. All businesses in Australia are classified according to the risk their industry poses, and are allocated a risk ratio. These ratios are used by insurers to calculate the comparative risk of any one business compared to another. Therefore, the cost of public liability insurance for a vending business in the Australian Capital Territory may be similar to one in New South Wales.  

Most small to medium-sized businesses have some contingency funds to fall back on, but they’re rarely sufficient to cover the cost of a major catastrophe. For example, if several of your vending machines were vandalised and broken all in one week, you could find yourself with a substantially reduced income until you had the money to repair or replace them. If this happens and you have adequate insurance protection, you’ll have a far better chance of recovering and getting back on your feet quickly.

Why do I need insurance for my vending business?

You’ve worked hard to build up your business, so it makes sense to want protection in case things go wrong. Because vending machines are complex, repairing them can take time, with locating the necessary spare parts not always a simple task and potentially delaying your business’ return to full operation. This is the same type of risk also faced by auto car wash businesses and operators, where spare parts may have to be sourced from overseas. 

Most small to medium-sized businesses have some contingency funds, but they rarely have sufficient to cover the cost of a major catastrophe. The reason you need business insurance is to give you peace of mind and protection in case anything does happen which is covered by your policy and could otherwise threaten your business income. If you have adequate insurance to keep you afloat, you’ll stand a far better chance of recovering quickly and getting back on your feet. 

Types of business insurance

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Frequently asked questions about insurance for vending businesses

Are the contents of my vending machine automatically covered by my insurance?

No – vending machine contents are often an exclusion in a general business insurance policy, or you may have to list all the perishable contents separately to ensure that stock is covered. For this reason, it’s very important to read the product disclosure statement of your policy very carefully and compare policies to make sure you’re fully covered where you need it. 

If I sub-lease my vending machine to another operator, will my insurance still be valid?

Doing this may void your insurance because you may not have control over the operation, maintenance and servicing of the sub-let machine. You should check the fine print of your insurance policy carefully before deciding if you are insured to sub-let one of your machines. 

Are insurance premiums for a vending machine business tax-deductible? 

The Australian Taxation Office recognises that having business insurance is a legitimate cost of doing business, so the full cost of your insurance premiums can usually be claimed as a business expense and offset against your income. However, you should consult a tax specialist to get expert advice about what you can and can’t claim on your tax return. 

What information will I need to make an insurance claim?

The information you should have to hand when you contact your insurance company to make a claim will include: 

  • The name of the policyholder 
  • Your policy number and start date (which can be found on your Certificate of Currency) 
  • A detailed description of the incident (what happened to cause the damage or loss) 
  • Specific dates and times when the incident happened 
  • Contact details of any other parties involved (or witnesses to the event) 
  • Details of your police report number (if a crime took place) 
  • Details of the property lost or damaged (including its age and value) 
  • Your bank details for settling the claim

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Savvy does not compare all business insurance policies or providers currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

For any further information on the variety of insurers compared by BizCover or how their business works, you can read their Financial Services Guide.

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