Restaurant Insurance Basics
Restaurant insurance, also called restaurant protection insurance, is not a product that you just go out and buy without knowing what you are looking for. In fact, it is one of the most important purchases you will ever make. In short, restaurant insurance covers everything involved in your restaurant, starting from your building and supplies to the staff and customers themselves. In most cases, a typical restaurant insurance policy contains the following:
General Liability: This protects you from lawsuits based on property damage or injury caused by your business and is mandatory for all restaurant owners. Usually, the law mandates this when a customer or member of the public suffers any sort of damage or injury while visiting your restaurant. Similarly, if there is any injury caused to a customer within the restaurant premises and the restaurant owner is responsible, then this is covered as well. As a result, general restaurant insurance takes care of you in situations such as theft, injury or death occurring at your restaurant. It’s best that you check the details with your lawyer before taking up a restaurant insurance plan.
Professional Liability: Similar to general liability insurance, this type of plan is in place to protect your business against negligence claims made against your business. This protects your staff, especially your waiters and kitchen staff, who work in close contact with customers every day. Claims made against restaurants and other commercial establishments are usually for negligence (such as serving bad food or giving improper or poor service) and are often won by the restaurant owners themselves. Professional liability insurance ensures that you don’t end up paying thousands of dollars in court settlements and compensations for negligence committed by your staff. As with the other types of restaurant insurance, professional liability insurance is mandatory for all restaurant owners. To get the best rates, however, you need to have your business inspected every few years by an independent body, which will verify that your establishment adheres to all industry standards.
Employee Liability: Similar to the above-mentioned policy, this is another type of restaurant insurance policy that covers your staff in the event of accidents occurring on the job. Commonly, liability claims occur when waitresses slip on a restaurant floor or are struck by a busy and drunken restaurant patron. Your employees may also be injured due to the increased speed with which dishes are moved in many modern restaurants. In addition, restaurants run the risk of a high employee turnover rate, which increases the risk of employers hiring illegal aliens, which is a common occurrence in the United States. A good restaurant insurance policy takes these possible hazards into account and provides you with adequate protection.
Alcohol Policies: Serving alcohol at a restaurant is perhaps one of the most controversial issues related to dining establishments. Some restaurants and hotels voluntarily remove serving alcohol from their menus, while others have been forced to do so by government regulations. There is also a complex issue of why restaurants are required by law to remove alcohol from their premises in other states (but not in their home state). At the end of the day, it is up to the consumer to understand what his or her responsibilities are, and whether or not those responsibilities are being met. This is where restaurant insurance coverage comes into play.
A number of things happen when you operate a restaurant. Customers and employees come into frequent contact with each other, sometimes causing injuries; customers may trip over food or drink that has been dropped onto a customer’s table; and other items occur which may cause damage to the property or injuries to employees. All of these things can occur without the establishment actually doing anything wrong. For these reasons, it is important to protect yourself against liability lawsuits. Having the proper restaurant insurance coverage can help you avoid financial hardship in case something does happen.