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.
Many business owner’s and managers frequently wonder what goes in to their General Liability Insurance Rate for their small business. Many compare their costs with fellow business owners or friends and family who run other businesses. Depending upon your industry, this may cause some shock when they find out how much more they pay than other businesses in different industries. Every state and every insurance company determines their own way to determine your businesses General Liability Insurance Rate. There is not one set in stone way to determine how much to charge for coverage. There are three main factors that weigh heavily on what you pay for General Liability Coverage: The size, the class code and the loss history of your business.
The size of your business
For most businesses this is the physical dimensions of your property times a number determined by your classification code. The condition and age of your property mean a lot for this rate as well. Underwriters will examine the age and complexity of the construction. Whether the building is up to code means a lot to the insurer. Generally, newer construction lowers your rate, while older construction tends to raise your businesses General Liability Insurance Rate.
General Liability Insurance Class Codes are determined by the activities your business partakes in. In order for this to be accurate, it is important to be honest with your agent about everything your business does and does not do on a daily basis. You can understand the differences in risk from a accounting office compared to a rooking business. Even small differences in a business can have an effect on your class code.
Take for instance commercial versus residential cleaning businesses. Commercial cleaning businesses typically have employees who drive to one location, clean the building and go home. A residential cleaning business typically has employees who are going to more than one residence throughout the day. These employees are driving to and from each residence. While driving between locations, the business is liable for any accidents that occur. This elevates the risk for covering this business and will in turn cost more. This is why it is very important for you to speak long and honestly with your agent in order to be placed in the proper class code.
The final factor that impacts your general liability insurance rate is your businesses loss history. This depends upon the industry and the operations of your business. For some industries, it is common to have many small accidents. A restaurant is be a good example of a business that might have a lot of small occurrences. This is because the frequency and amount of customers coming in and out of the restaurant. Slips, trips and falls are common in these industries. If your business tends to have a larger amount or more severe incidents during a recent year, it may cause your rate on premium to go up. Another thing to consider if you have had some claims in the recent past is what type of formal safety program does your business have in place. If you have a well documented safety program in place, your agent may be able to explain some incidents as freak occurrences and not a sign of an underlying problem that makes your business more of a risk.
There are several other factors that go in to what you pay for your General Liability Insurance Rate, but the size of your business, your class code and your loss history are the main factors that determine what you pay. Staying on top of these three factors can go a long way towards preventing your business from paying too much for General Liability Insurance.