Restaurant Insurance

3 tips to find the best Restaurant Insurance. 

How much insurance do I really need? What are the correct types of insurance for my restaurant? What types of restaurant insurance can I do without? What is the bare minimum I can get away with for restaurant insurance? These are all very common question that insurance agents get asked when a restaurant owner is looking to protect their business for the first time or a seasoned business owner is looking to renew their coverage. The answer to this question is like many things; ‘It depends’. There are many variables that go in to owning and operating a restaurant and those variables bring on many risks. Not every business owner is comfortable with the same amount of risk.  Depending upon how much risk you are willing to take, here are 3 tips to help you make sure you are purchasing the amount restaurant insurance.

Are you classified correctly?

First off, the small business owner needs to make sure their business is classified properly. This applies for both workers compensation and general liability insurance. Each state has their own governing body for these coverages.  The best way to determine if you are properly classified is to ask for help from an experienced independent insurance agent. When talking with your agent, it is crucially important to be honest with them.  This is important for the time you are open, how much and what types of alcohol you serve and what exactly your employees do.  Restaurants are classified different based upon the risks they face. Being properly classified can save your business immensely.

Pay as you go option

Workers comp coverage is required by state law in 48 out of 50 states. getting this coverage in place is an enormous cost.  Pay as you go workers’ compensation is s a great option for seasonal or cash strapped businesses. Pay as you go workers’ compensation allows a business to pay premium based upon the amount of payroll as opposed to an estimate of the monthly payroll. For many businesses they can get coverage in place for as little as a few hundred dollars.

Determine the proper type of Commercial Auto Insurance

Many business owners do not think they need any type of commercial auto insurance. Just because your business does not own vehicles, doe snot mean you do not need to secure some form of commercial auto insurance. If you do own vehicles that are going to be used for business purposes you most definitely need commercial auto insurance coverage. Also, if you have employees who use their own vehicles for business purposes than the business is liable for all accidents. Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage is a policy that kicks in when your employees use their own vehicle or a rented vehicle not owned by the company. Regardless of how small the activity may seem, when the employee is using any vehicle to do business activity you are liable.

 

 

Seven Insurance Coverages Every Restaurant Should Carry

I am opening a restaurant, what Insurance do I really need? This is a question insurance agents get asked a lot. Not just from restaurant owners, but from all small business owners. The answer to this question is like many things in life; It depends. The answer to this question will be different if you are a Painter, a Dry Cleaner, or even an Artisan Contractor.

 

There are many variables that go in to running a restaurant and those variables bring on completely different risks.

First and foremost the restaurant owner needs to determine what class code their business will be in. To find this out you will need the help of an experienced insurance agent. It is very important to be open and honest with the agent about what your restaurant will and will not be doing. For example, if you are a bar that stays open until 2 AM you will be in a different class code than a diner that is open from 6 AM until 2 PM. The risks are different, so the businesses are classified different. Furthermore, if you are not honest with your agent about serving alcohol they may leave out Liquor Liability Coverage. If an incident occurs without coverage it may be a loss so large it forces you to close permanently.

So once a business is classified correctly there are seven main coverages every restaurant should carry. Some restaurants will need all of these coverages and more. Some restaurants will need only a few coverages. Again, that is where the help of an experienced commercial insurance agent is important. This list is a great starting point for protecting any restaurant.

 

  • General Liability
  • Liquor Liability
  • Commercial Property
  • Hired and Non-owned Auto
  • Commercial Crime
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Umbrella Policy

 

General Liability

General Liability (GL) is often referred to as the first line of defense in any good business insurance policy. A GL policy protects a business against liability claims for bodily injury and property damage as a result of normal business operations. It also covers some types of advertising liability. This can be as simple as someone slipping and falling on the way to the bathroom to another business claiming you stole their advertising slogan. There are exclusions in every policy and not every carrier has the same exclusions. Reading your policy and consulting with your agent are important.

 

Liquor Liability

Liquor Liability is designed for businesses that sell or serve alcohol. If you do not plan on selling alcohol this is not necessary for your business. In many states, business are required by law to carry this coverage. Liquor liability covers liquor related instances including bodily injury, mental anguish, psychological damage, assault, intoxicated employees and property damage.

 

Commercial Property

Regardless of whether you own or rent the facility your restaurant is located, property insurance is an essential part of protecting your restaurant from disaster. Commercial Property Insurance covers losses and damages to a companies property including buildings and permanent fixtures, inventory, furniture, equipment, personal property, signage, fences, and even landscaping.

 

Hired and Non-Owned Auto

One risk that many restaurant owners forget about is when their employees are using their personal cars for business purposes. This is where Hired and Non-owned Auto Coverage is necessary.  Many restaurant owners think if they do not offer delivery services they do not need Commercial Auto Coverage. That is not always the case. Hired and Non-owned Auto Coverage kicks in when your employees use their own vehicle or a rented vehicle not owned by the the company. The employee could be using their vehicle for something as simple as going to get change at the bank. Regardless of how small the activity may seem, when the employee is using any vehicle to do business activity you are liable.

 

Commercial Crime

In today’s day and age the risk for credit and debit card fraud is very high at a Restaurant. You and your customers are putting a lot of faith in the people you hire to not steal their personal credit card numbers. For this reason it is necessary to carry Commercial Crime Insurance. This coverage provides coverage for criminal acts committed by you or your employees. These can include employee dishonesty, forgery, computer fraud , funds transfer fraud, kidnap, ransom, extortion and money laundering. Depending upon the policy it will pay to defend you at trial and some fines or judgments awarded by a court of law.

 

Workers’ Compensation

 Workers’ Compensation Insurance offers coverage similar to General Liability. Workers Comp is designed for your employees instead of third parties. Work Comp Coverage is frequently referred to as the “exclusive remedy”. This means employees give up some rights to sue for injuries occurring on the job in exchange for guaranteed benefits like lost wages and coverage of medical costs. Employers gain the piece of mind that they will not be sued for most accidents occurring on the job unless the business is intentionally negligent.

 

Umbrella Policy

An Umbrella Insurance Policy is a great way to provide an added layer of protection to your business. The coverage is a policy that goes over the top of other insurance policies for a rainy day. Basically, the Umbrella Policy will provided higher limits of coverage when a large claim occurs. Think about the size of a potential claim if your restaurant caught on fire while people were inside. This could easily lead to you reaching the limits for General Liability and Commercial Property Coverage. This type of situation could easily exceed a typical $1,000,000 occurrence limit for those underlying policies. This is when the Umbrella policy would kick to provide additional coverage over and beyond those limits.

 

In most cases these policies can be bundled together under a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP). Most insurance carriers like to offer policies in a bundle because it brings them more business and allows them to get better prices for the business owner. It also ensures business owner’s are completely covered with no gaps in their coverage. So when you go out looking for your restaurant’s insurance policy these are seven insurance policies to consider when protecting your restaurant.