General liability insurance is an absolute must in the restaurant industry. On a single day, some restaurants serve thousands of people, and with that high of a turnover, accidents are inevitable. When you own a business, you run the risk of someone suing you, and whether their claims are legitimate or not, you need to have the appropriate restaurant insurance coverage to ensure that a lawsuit won’t close up your shop for good.
General liability restaurant insurance can protect business owners from instances such as a slip-and-fall on their property, food poisoning or allergic reactions, or injury due to hot food/ beverages. These types of claims are considered ‘bodily injury’ claims. Other claims that are covered by general liability restaurant insurance include those related to property damage, such as a patron’s clothing/electronics being ruined due to an employee spilling something on them. Not only will your general liability restaurant insurance cover issues that occur on-premises, but your coverage extends to job sites if your company provides catering or delivery services. If you were catering a party, and your heating oven started a fire, your general liability insurance would cover any subsequent lawsuits you may face.
Although property is often covered under general liability insurance, it’s important for restaurant owners to also consider separate property insurance policies. The food service industry especially has a great deal of package add-ons for insurance coverage as far as property insurance is concerned. Some service providers include deals that cover cars being left to valet services and jackets that are left with coat check. Oftentimes property insurance can be combined with general liability insurance in packages called business owner’s policies.
The reason that business owner’s policies are so valuable to restaurant owners in particular, is that lawsuits are incredibly prevalent in this industry. Oftentimes restaurants are sued for things that aren’t actually their fault, but even when the lawsuits that are brought upon them have no legitimate basis, they are still costly and time consuming. General liability insurance covers the cost of your legal defense, bond premiums, court-ordered settlements, and even income loss during the time of the litigations. Property insurance is often required of restaurants by landlords who own the space within which they operate. This coverage can include damage as a result of fire, natural disasters, and theft. Not only will it cover the restaurant’s property, but it will also cover property of your guests while they’re there.
Many food service business owners get business owner’s policies that include business interruption and food contamination coverage, which are clauses especially designed for the food service industry that provide assistance when restaurants have to close temporarily due to contamination or food poisoning. These insurance options cover the cost of replacing the tainted food, clean equipment, potential public health official expenses, and public relations efforts to rebuild your restaurant’s reputation.
If you own a restaurant, make sure you have the right restaurant insurance coverage to suit your company’s needs!