As some of you already know, I have a one barrel brewery in Holderness, NH called Squam Brewing LLC. Up until now, I have operated without any insurance on my business. But I may need to bite the bullet and get some. I'm hoping someone out there can help me make an informed decision.
There are two main reason I'm looking into getting insurance. The first is that most brewing festivals that I've been invited to require proof of a certain amount of coverage. For example, one coming up in July needs this -
1. Public Liability: Minimum of Two Million ($2,000,000) combined single limit for bodily injury.
2. General Liability: Minimum of Three Hundred Thousand ($300,000) property damage per incident.
3. Liquor Liability: Minimum One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) combined single limit for bodily injury, deathand/or property damage.
It varies from festival to festival slightly, but that one seems pretty typical. The other reason for possibly getting insured is obvious; avoid getting screwed over if something bad happens. This is where I need help making an informed decision.
By forming an LLC, I thought I was protecting my personal assets in the event of a lawsuit or something similar. Thats why I chose not to set up a sole proprietorship. But after doing some googling, it appears I'm not personally protected by having an LLC.
On the one hand, its easy to say "just get the insurance and be done with it." But paying something like $500 every quarter is something I'd like to avoid if its not necessary. I'm in my late 20s and don't exactly have a fortune sitting in my bank account (the brewery itself isn't worth much at all), so if I do get taken to court there really isn't a whole lot someone is going to get. Unless they garnish my wages, which would really suck.
So to summerize, I would like to know how screwed I could be if I opt not to get insurance. I can handle not going to brew fests, but I can't handle paying off a million dollar lawsuit over the course of my lifetime. I don't plan on doing anything negligent and if a true accident happens, can't I just declare bankruptcy and be done with the brewery? Thanks in advance for any insight or advice people have.