Owning a restaurant is not for the faint of heart—they almost always require a large investment up front and need constant supervision. If you’re a restaurant owner, chances are, you’ve poured a lot of money, time and effort towards its success. It’s important to protect that investment with the proper insurance and take the time to understand the basics of liability in the restaurant industry. We’ll give you a quick rundown of what you need to know.
Restaurant insurance policies package the various other types of insurance that restaurant owners need to protect themselves from liability. A good restaurant insurance policy will include four different areas of liability coverage:
General liability insurance covers medical costs and damages for issues related to customer injuries on the restaurant premise. Restaurants can be bustling places, and a misplaced barstool or slippery floor could result in expensive lawsuits without the proper coverage.
If your restaurant serves alcohol, liquor liability coverage is an absolute necessity. There are a bevy of liability issues that come with serving alcohol. Remember, without this protection your establishment can potentially be held responsible for the actions of an intoxicated patron, even after they leave the premises.
If you own a restaurant that sells alcohol in Massachusetts you should take the time to put your employees through the Training for Intervention Procedure (TIPS) program. Every state has unique alcohol laws (especially Massachusetts), and having TIPS certified employees means greater protection against alcohol liability lawsuits and lower insurance premiums.
Food poisoning is the reoccurring nightmare of every restaurant owner. The reality is that unless you control the entirety of your supply chain, it’s impossible to completely remove the potential of food poisoning. As a restaurant owner, your food is your product and your responsibility. This coverage protects you from any lawsuits derived from a medical issue directly related to the ingestion of your food.
Commercial Auto/Non-Owned Vehicle/Valet:
If your restaurant offers a delivery service, you need insurance for the car. If the deliveries are made in a company owned car, a commercial auto policy will protect the business from liability. If the delivery drivers use their personal cars, make sure you get non-owned vehicle coverage as well. If you offer a valet service, it’s important to make sure you have the proper coverage for any potential damages to a customer’s car. The bottom line is that if you have employees using vehicles, as part of their employment responsibilities, you need to protect your business from any accidents that may occur.
Owning a small business is never easy, and as a restaurant owner, you have so many things to deal with that every day may feel like a whirlwind. But it’s important to take the time to review all aspects of your insurance policy to make sure that you’re covered. You worked hard to create your business, make sure you protect it! Look for an insurance policy that addresses all of the areas we mentioned, but remember that each state has a variety of laws that affect restaurant owners in different ways. Always give your local insurance agent a call and explain what your business is and what you’re hoping to get out of your policy.